Financial Markets Tuesday: Dow Has Worst Drop of 2012

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 203 points on Tuesday, marking the index’s largest single-day decline in 2012.

The other indexes took nearly as big a hit. S&P 500 stocks fell 1.54% while the Nasdaq tumbled 1.36%, both of which nearly matched the Dow’s 1.57% dip on a percentage basis.

At 1,343, the S&P closed at its lowest level in nearly a month. At 12,759, the Dow hasn’t been this low since February 2.

Fear over the Greek debt situation – something that plagued U.S. financial markets in 2011 but that investors have been largely blasé about in 2012 – has once again reared its ugly head. A looming debt swap between Greece and private creditors in an effort to stave off a Greek default was apparently the catalyst behind today’s big losses.

But analysts like our own Jason Cimpl have been calling for a pullback for weeks. So in reality, the markets were long overdue for a correction – all they needed was a slight shove to push them in the other direction.

After an extended absence, it seems that Greek debt fears were all the shove the markets needed to finally take the substantial tumble that some say has been weeks in the making. 

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