U.S. stocks sank and benchmark indexes slid to their lowest levels since 2003 on growing concern over the health of the financial system and survival of the nation’s car industry. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 427.47 points, or 5.1 percent, to 7,997.28.The S&P 500 plunged 6.1 percent to 806.58 and extended its 2008 retreat to 45 percent, poised for its worst year since 1931.The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 6.5 percent to 1,386.42.
Citigroup Inc. tumbled 23 percent to $6.40, a 13-year low, on a plan to buy $17.4 billion of troubled investment-fund assets.Citigroup, which was surpassed by U.S. Bancorp today as the nation’s fourth-largest bank by market value, retreated to its lowest price since 1995.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns the insurers Geico Corp. and General Re, dropped 12 percent to $84,000 for its steepest plunge since at least 1985.
Asian stocks fell, extending a global rout, as U.S. consumer prices dropped by a record and Japan’s exports declined the most in six years, adding to evidence a global recession is deepening.