Fear about world economy sends markets lower

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are plunging in midday trading, extending a rout around the world. Indicators across the financial markets show that investors are worried that the global economy is in for a long slump.

At 11:45, The Dow is down 359 points, or 3.2 percent, at 10,765. The Standard &Poor's 500 index is down 33, or 2.8 percent, at 1,133. The Nasdaq composite is down 63, or 2.5 percent, at 2,475.

The Fed, adopting a new strategy to try to get the U.S. economy going, announced Wednesday that it would shuffle $400 billion of its own holdings in hopes of reducing interest rates on long-term loans. But the Fed statement troubled investors. It offered a bleak assessment of the future of the U.S. economy and sparked a selloff that began Wednesday afternoon.