May 25th, 2010
06:50 PM ET

Dow recovers from early plunge; oil futures dip

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks recover from plunge

Stocks erased most losses by the close Tuesday, with the Dow ending down just 22 points after having fallen close to 300 points earlier in the session, as worries about the global economy were tempered.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 22 points, or 0.2 percent. In the first hour of trading the Dow fell as much as 292 points to 9,774.48, the lowest level since November 4.

The S&P 500 was little changed and the Nasdaq lost 2 points, or about 0.1 percent.

Stocks have been sliding for most of the month on worries about how the European debt crisis will impact global growth.

No end in sight for euro's slide

The euro got no relief Tuesday, continuing its steady slide amid a global stock selloff as worldwide concerns weighed on the shared currency.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent on the euro to $1.2345. The greenback jumped 0.1 percent versus the British pound to $1.4405. But it was down 0.1 percent against the Japanese yen at ¥90.19.

The euro has taken a huge hit recently, sliding toward parity versus the U.S. dollar, as debt concerns in European countries have left investors unsettled. The pressure continued Tuesday as global markets took a dive, sending investors to the safe-haven greenback.

The European zone's currency is down more than 15 percent year-to-date against the dollar, and it's fallen almost 10 percent over the last month alone. The euro has been entrenched in its downward spiral for several weeks, and even major moves have failed to put a floor under the currency.

Oil falls 2 percent in global sell-off

Oil futures slumped 2 percent Tuesday as political tension between North Korea and South Korea - and Europe's continued economic woes - sparked a sell-off in global stock markets.

Crude for July delivery, fell $1.46, or about 2 percent, to settle at $68.75 a barrel Tuesday.

Gasoline prices fell for the 19th consecutive day, slipping to $2.780 a gallon from $2.793 the day before, according to a survey by motorist group AAA.

Asian financial markets posted steep losses, pushing down oil prices, after North Korea threatened military action against South Korea Tuesday, according to reports by South Korean news agency Yonhap. European financial markets also declined after a Spanish bank bailout turned attention to the financial health of other European banks.

Treasury rates' slide continues

Treasury prices rallied and yields slipped Tuesday as confidence in the global economy dropped and investors flocked to the safety of the bond market.

Fear in the marketplace has fueled Treasury prices and pressured yields over the past month. While the 10-year yield was about 4 percent a month ago, it is now hovering near 3 percent, signaling a plunge in risk appetite.

Treasurys are viewed as low-risk investments since they are backed by the U.S. government, and they are therefore particularly attractive during times of economic uncertainty.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 9/32 to 102-27/32, yielding 3.17 percent after dipping to 3.06 percent earlier, the lowest level in 13 months. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond added 12/32 to 105-10/32 and yielded 4.07 percent, while the five-year note edged up 1/32 to 102-13/32, yielding 2 percent. The two-year note was the one exception, losing 2/32 to 100-15/32 and yielding 0.77 percent after a $42 billion auction of two-year notes was met with lackluster demand. reporters Alexandra Twin, Julianne Pepitone, Annalyn Censky and Blake Ellis contributed to this report.

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