Stocks are falling sharply in early trading on growing concerns that Italy’s debt levels are unsustainable.
Italian bond yields spiked above 7 percent, a sign that investors are losing faith in the country’s ability to repay its debt. Greece, Portugal and Ireland each required bailouts when their bond yields rose above the same level. Unlike those countries, Italy’s debt is too large for other European nations to bail out.
In the U.S., General Motors fell 7 percent after the company said Europe’s economic woes are weighing on its profits.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 252 points, or 2.1 percent, to 11,918 five minutes after the market opened. The S&P 500 fell 29, or 2.3 percent, to 1,247. The Nasdaq lost 65, or 2.4 percent, to 2,662.