OLD EUROPE: Political uncertainty in Europe intensified Wednesday, sending global markets broadly lower. Borrowing rates climbed for Spain and Italy, a sign that investors are losing confidence in those countries' finances. Greece appears unable to form a government because of deep rifts about spending cuts tied to international bailouts.
NEW SLUMP: The Dow Jones industrial average fell for a sixth consecutive day, its longest losing streak since August. The average hit a four-year closing high last week, and has declined every day since.
COULD BE WORSE: The Dow plunged as much as 184 points before closing down 97 points.