NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks plunged on Monday
and investors fled to the safety of gold and bonds after the
downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s stoked
fears the United States is slipping into recession.
Wall Street slumped as much as 6 percent by mid-afternoon
and European stocks hit a two-year low. A favored gauge of
investor anxiety spiked well above 40, a sign investors are
afraid of more declines to come. The CBOE Volatility Index
.VIX surged 41.9 percent at 45.40.
Investors were struggling to discern the effects of the
U.S. credit rating downgrade to AA-plus from AAA, which could
hit various components of the vast U.S. financial sector, from
mortgage lenders to municipal issuers and insurers.