Dow Jones Plunges Below 12000

At least the price of oil went down. That’s about the only silver lining to a miserable day in the markets Thursday, as the threat of protests in Saudi Arabia panicked investors and sent the Dow Jones Industrials Average diving 228 points to just below 12000—its lowest point since Jan. 31 and its worst performance in seven months. The Mideast worries followed concerns earlier in the day about Spain’s credit rating and a slowdown in Chinese exports. Despite the Saudi concerns, oil still closed slightly lower, at a little under $103 per barrel.