Stocks Tumbled on Global Fears

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday, amid widespread selling of stocks and commodities on escalated fears about the global economy. The Dow average lost 391.01 points, or 3.51%, to 10,733.83. The S&P 500 fell 37.20 points, or 3.19%, to 1,129.56. The Nasdaq Composite lost 82.52 points, or 3.25%, to 2,455.67.

Employing in-your-face politics, President Barack Obama sold his jobs plan Thursday from the turf of the top Republicans on Capitol Hill, combatively calling them out by name to demand action.

Hewlett-Packard has named Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and California candidate for governor, as its new CEO, pushing aside Leo Apotheker after just 11 months on the job.

Facebook is dramatically redesigning its users’ profile pages to create what CEO Mark Zuckerberg says is a “new way to express who you are.” Zuckerberg introduced the Facebook “timeline” Thursday in San Francisco at the company’s f8 conference for some 2,000 entrepreneurs, developers and journalists. The event is also being broadcast to more than 100,000 online viewers.

Oil, Gold, silver and other commodities tumbled amid a global sell-off in financial markets. Oil plunged $5.41, or 6.3 percent, to end the day at $80.51 per barrel in New York. Gold fell $66.40, or 3.7 percent, to finish at $1,741.70 an ounce on Thursday. Silver, a precious metal that has wider demand for industrial production, plummeted $3.89, or 9.6 percent, to $36.58.

FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX), the world’s No. 2 package delivery company, cut its full-year profit outlook, citing fuel prices and weak global economic growth, sending its shares down as much as 11 percent to a two-year low.

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