Stocks Tumble at Start Following Global Markets

U.S. stocks opened sharply lower amid more signs of weak economic conditions around the globe, including disappointing jobless claims and inflation data in the U.S.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 334.64 points to 11,075.57. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 38.13 points to 1,155.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 95.76 points to 2,415.72.

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 408,000, the Labor Department said.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the Consumer Price Index rose 0.5 percent in July. That followed a drop of 0.2 percent in June. Gas prices accounted for much of the swing.

Morgan Stanley slashed its global growth forecast for 2011 and 2012, saying the U.S. and the euro zone were “dangerously close to a recession,” and criticized policymakers in Washington and Europe for not acting more decisively to contain the sovereign debt crisis. The bank cut its global gross domestic product growth forecast to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent for 2011, and to 3.8 percent from 4.5 percent for 2012.

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