The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged over 350 points in morning trading Wednesday, after a trio of weaker-than-expected U.S. economic reports. Those worrisome signs, coupled with the Greek stock market’s more than 9 percent tumble, sent the financial markets on a disastrous dip.
With Wednesday’s decline, four of the last six trading sessions have seen triple-digit dips in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as investors grapple with signs that global economic growth may be slowing.
“The economic numbers are pointing to slower growth,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “The headwinds of slower global economic growth are beginning to affect the U.S. economy.”
Dow futures lost more than 150 points ahead of the open and the Dow plunged as much as 350 points in early trading, only to reverse quickly. However, the financial markets reversed yet again in mid-day trading with the Dow down over 300 points.
At 12:40 pm EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 308 points, or 1.89 percent, to 16,006.96; the S&P 500 Index fell 36 points, or 1.92 percent, to 1,841.58; the NASDAQ Composite lost 64 points, or 1.54 percent, to 4,162.25.
Retail sales dropped in September, while the Producer Price Index unexpectedly fell by 0.1 percent last month. Meanwhile, the New York Manufacturing Index revealed slower growth in October, as the business activity index tumbled to 6.2 in October from 27.5 in September.
The CBOE Volatility Index, or the VIX, considered the best gauge of fear in the market, spiked just below 26.
"This is typical of when a market is just about to go into panic mode selling,” said Cardillio.
Analysts previously told International Business Times that Wall Street would continue to see volatility in the coming weeks following multiple whiplash sessions last week. The Dow fell 272 points on Oct. 7, only to soar 275 points the following session. The Dow then plummeted 334 points on Oct. 9.
A separate concern weighing on the global economy is Germany, Europe's traditional powerhouse. The country is showing signs of weakness and could be falling into recession.
However, higher market volatility could create a buying opportunity for investors. “Even though there’s risk to the market going lower, I recommend buying at these levels,” Cardillo added.
Next up on the economic calendar, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book at 2 pm EST that will shed light on the central bank’s view on current economic conditions.