TORONTO - North American stock markets are racking up big losses over rising pessimism about slowing economic conditions.
Late in the morning, the S&P/TSX composite index plunged 406.29 points to 12,597.19, led by steep declines in resource stocks.
New York markets also fell hard with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 254.83 points to 11,641.61.
The Nasdaq composite index dropped 73.11 points to 2,619.96 while the S&P 500 index was down 30.44 points to 1,229.9.
Just a couple of weeks ago, investors were concerned the U.S. economy had hit a soft patch. Since then a raft of economic data on manufacturing, consumer spending and hiring by private companies have raised worries about the economy slipping back into recession.
The Canadian dollar also got caught up in the downdraft, falling 1.4 cents to 102.49 cents US.