The Dow Jones has plunged 150.17 points (1.77%) to 8353.89 today as US unemployment climbed to a 26-year high.
A further 467,000 people joined the queue for work last month, exceeding the 365,000 predicted, bringing the unemployment rate to 9.5%. Over six million US jobs have now been culled since the onset of the recession, yet the June figures is the first month-on-month unemployment hike in four months.
No US blue chip stocks have made any gains in early trading. Alcoa has suffered the largest losses so far, plummeting 4.4% to $9.89, while United Tech has fallen 3.86% to $50.26.
The FTSE 100 has also reacted badly to the US unemployment figures, shedding 106.05 points (2.44%) to 4234.66.
Mining and natural resources stocks have sustained some heavy blows, with Rio Tinto tumbling 6.35% to £20.21, despite a strong response to its $15.2bn rights issue. Shareholders have taken up 96.97% of the shares offered to them, with major shareholder Chinalco taking up its entitlement in full.
Anglo American has fallen 5.73% to £17.27, while Antofagasta is down 5.2% to 592p.
However, Friends Provident Group has added 0.93% to 68.6p. Diageo is up 0.5% to 901.5p, on news it will cut 900 jobs in Scotland as part of a major restructuring.
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26 years in financial services