Adam Samson
August 8, 2011

The markets fell sharply in choppy trading Monday morning after Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating and lingering euro zone debt woes rocked traders’ confidence. Meanwhile, traders retreated to safe-haven assets, like gold, which leaped past the $1,700-mark.

Today’s Markets

As of 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 187 points, or 1.7%, to 11,257, the S&P 500 tumbled 22.8 points, or 1.9%, to 1,177 and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 46.3 points, or 1.9%, to 2,485. The FOX 50 sank 12.6 points, or 1.5%, to 852.

Volatility was high early on Monday. In fact, the New York Stock Exchange invoked “Rule 48,” which enables market makers to hold off on sending initial price indications at market open in a bid to help markets open smoothly. The VIX, often referred to as a fear gauge, surged 14% in morning trading.

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