The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 419.63 points to close at 10,990.58. News from Europe and unfavorable economic reports in the US appear to be factors.
A number of economists and financial managers say Washington is making the volatility on Wall Street worse, when it should be acting as a calming influence.
Obama, Bernanke, and Geithner meet as investors worry that political leaders – in the United States and Europe – and central banks can't do much more to support a weak economy.
The Dow suffered its worst day since December 2008, when the US was sliding into recession. The flight to bonds was so extreme that stock market investors were paying the US to hold their money.
As the Aug. 2 debt deadline approaches, investors can envision everything from the stock market dropping like a rock to the economy shrinking as government vendors lay off thousands of workers.
Because of concerns about Greece, the US stock market has fallen about 7 percent, dropping for six weeks. Although it broke the losing streak last week, there is still uncertainty among investors.
The Dow fell about 130 points, with rising concern that European debt problems are worsening
The Dow Jones average closed at 12040.16 Tuesday. Crossing the 12000 level might encourage investors to spend more money.
If you're wondering how financial planner Charles Failla sees the next decade of investing and beyond, consider this: Both his 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter are studying Mandarin. "That gives you some idea about my conviction on emerging markets," says Mr. Failla, principal at Sovereign Financial Group in New York. While the "jury is still out on the US – which has a lot of problems to fix – I am very optimistic about China and India over the next 20 years." There's plenty of advice about what investors should do for 2011. But where do financial pros suggest you put your money through 2020? Here are five themes for the new decade: