Futures dropped sharply Tuesday, extending the previous session's losses, as renewed concerns over the euro zone flared up after Greece’s prime minister said he would put the nation's bailout to a referendum, raising the risk of a disorderly default.
The announcement of a referendum in Greece shook global markets and led to heavy falls in euro zone banks. China’s factory activity was also its slowest since February 2009, adding to concerns for investors.
The collapse of MF Globaladded to fears that the eurozone debt problems would spill over to American shores.
The New York Times reported that hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money has gone missing from MF Global in recent days, prompting an investigation into the brokerage firm.
In company news, Pfizer slipped slightly even after the pharmaceutical giant reported better-than-expected resultsand reaffirmed its 2012 targets.
Credit Suisse plunged after the European bank reported disappointing third-quarter earnings. Brady Dougan, the group’s CEO, told CNBC he predicts further market volatilityin coming months. In addition, the bank announced it would cut another 1,500 jobs.