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Psychological Market Levels Breached Worldwide

Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.

So much for volatility easing…after a fairly calm day yesterday (Monday), the Dow fell another 80 points in the last 15 minutes of trading.

Following that, futures lurk at the lows of the morning as European and Asian markets fall 2 percent to 4 percent.

A handful of psychological levels are being breached at home and abroad: UK’s FTSE 100 below 5,000, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closes below 19,000, and the Dow Industrials opened below 10,000, a level it hasn’t closed below in over 3 months.

Traders are also eyeing the key support level of 1,044.50 on the S&P 500, its intraday low back in February.

Clearly evident this morning is the unwinding of the risk trade. The flight from riskier assets continues on European debt fears spreading, greater concerns for tempered global growth, and jitters over in Asia as tensions grow between North Korea & South Korea. (See: N. Korean Troops Not On Military Alert: Report)

a) Commodities are down 2 percent-4 percent in early trade, with the exception of gold, which is up slightly. As a result, commodity stocks are also down mid-single digits.

b) Currencies very much in focus too. The Aussie Dollar hits a 10.5-month low vs. Japanese Yen. Meanwhile, the Euro briefly fell below $1.22 this morning and currently flirts with a 4-year low vs. the U.S. Dollar and hovers at an 8.5-year low vs. the Japanese Yen.

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