Steven Russolillo
Dow Jones
June 1, 2011

U.S. stocks plunged Wednesday after a slew of downbeat reports prompted fears that the nation’s economic recovery is running out of steam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently dropped 241 points, or 1.9%, to 12329. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 26 points, or 1.9%, to 1319, dragged down by the financial and material sectors. The Nasdaq Composite fell 56 points, or 2%, to 2779.

The selling accelerated in the late afternoon after Moody’s Investor Service again slashed the rating of Greek government debt.

Investors kicked off June on a negative note after several economic data points weighed on sentiment. Concerns about unemployment manifested after a reading on private-sector job growth came in well below economists’ expectations, fueling anxiety on Wall Street about the government’s monthly jobs report, to be released on Friday.

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