Stock market turmoil: Dow appears headed for another big decline - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Stock market turmoil: Dow appears headed for another big decline Monday

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Buckle up. It looks like another rocky day on Wall Street.

Stock futures plunged Monday in the United States, all but guaranteeing that the market will extend its sell-off after suffering the worst week in four years. The Dow Jones industrial average could be headed for a decline of 600 points or more.

Overseas markets were pummeled. The Nikkei index in Japan was down 4.6 percent, the equivalent of a 750-point drop in the Dow. Stocks were down 8 percent in Shanghai and 3 percent in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

"It is going to be a bad day," CNBC's Jim Cramer said on TODAY. "It's probably going to be a bad week."

Investors grew nervous two weeks ago when China devalued its currency, raising concerns that the world's second-largest economy — a huge market for American products — is not nearly as healthy as it appeared.

The worldwide sell-off has extended to commodities, including crude oil, which is below $40 per barrel for the first time since the financial crisis six years ago.

That is good news for drivers — the national average for gasoline is $2.59 a gallon, down 14 cents in a month — but bad news for energy stocks, which make up a significant chunk of Americans' retirement portfolios, and state economies that depend on oil.

raders are putting their money in investments they consider safer, including government bonds and gold.

The Dow will open Monday's trading at 16,459, down more than 10 percent from its all-time high in May. That is the definition of a market correction.

The market's last correction was in April 2011. Cramer pointed out that the American economy is much healthier than it was then. Unemployment in April 2011 was 9.1 percent, compared with 5.3 percent today.

He also cautioned that some of the factors that could send the U.S. market far lower are unlikely — a big rise in unemployment, a spike in interest rates or inflation, or a banking crisis.

For now, though, "There is just a tremendous decline coming from China," he said, "and we are importing it."

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