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Dow tumbles below 30,000 points as recession fears mount

US stock futures were set to fall sharply as investors continued to worry about even more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve that could land the US economy in a recession. A man is pictured here riding a bike in front of the New York Stock Exchange on September 21.
Peter Morgan/AP
US stock futures were set to fall sharply as investors continued to worry about even more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve that could land the US economy in a recession. A man is pictured here riding a bike in front of the New York Stock Exchange on September 21.

By David Goldman, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- US stocks fell sharply Friday morning, as investors continued to worry about even more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve that could land the US economy in a recession.

The Dow was down 289 points, or 1%, at the market open. The S&P 500 fell 1.1% and The Nasdaq composite was 1.1% lower.

The Dow opened below 30,000 points, a level it briefly breached Thursday. If the Dow ends the day below 30,000, it would be the first time it closed below that barrier since June 17. And a somewhat more sizable plunge could land the index at on a two-year low Friday.

Investors don't have many places to make money at the moment: In addition to sinking stocks, the bond market is also selling off, sending US Treasury yields soaring to 11-year highs in recent days. The 10-year yield fell back a bit Friday but remains near 3.7%, and the 2-year yield is above 4.1%. That's a much better return than you can get with stocks these days, so high bond yields are adding pressure on the stock market.

Wall Street also remains concerned that the Fed's rate-hiking plan could continue to increase borrowing costs, hurting the corporate profits that support their stock prices. And if the Fed is serious about slowing the economy down to gain control of runaway inflation, a recession could cause some real pain for consumers who buy the products that publicly traded companies make.

In other words: There's much to worry about on Wall Street. CNN Business' Fear and Greed Index has fallen solidly into "Fear" mode in recent days and is nearing "Extreme Fear." Investors don't see much to smile about on the horizon.

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