U.S. stocks are plunging in early trading as uncertainty about Europe's political future dominates financial markets for a third day.
European stocks fell sharply Wednesday, three days after voters in Greece and France threw out leaders who had imposed tough spending cuts to soothe investors. Now Greece is without a government, and many fear France will cut its debt too slowly and fall victim to the region's spreading debt crisis.
Oil, silver and copper fell sharply as nervousness about Europe fed ongoing fears about the pace of the global economic recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 121 points at 12,811. The Dow is headed for its longest slide in eight months.
The S&P 500 is down 14 points at 1,349. The Nasdaq is down 31 at 2,915.