US stocks open sharply lower, extending losses

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

U.S. stocks are plunging in early trading as traders flee risky assets.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 328 points, or 2 percent, to 15,979 in the first few minutes of trading Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose fell 36 points, or 2 percent, to 1,840. The Nasdaq composite fell 84 points, also 2 percent, to 4,142.

Banks and health care stocks fell the most in early trading.

U.S. crude fell eight cents to $81.72 a barrel. Oil has been falling sharply as investors worry that global economic growth is slowing down.

Bond prices rose as investors shifted money into safe-haven investments. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.98 percent.