Worldwide uncertainty rocks Wall St

US stocks fell nearly two per cent yesterday as the prospect of more European bailouts and worries China will rein in inflation prompted investors to abandon risky assets.

One result was a slide in resource stocks, such as Alcoa, which fell 2.8 per cent to $13.03, and Exxon Mobil, which dropped 2.2 per cent to $68.94. U.S. crude oil futures settled 3 per cent lower at $82.34 a barrel, gold and metal prices fell and the dollar index jumped 0.9 per cent. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 178.47 points, or 1.59 per cent, to 11,023.50. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 19.41 points, or 1.62 per cent, to 1,178.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 43.98 points, or 1.75 per cent, at 2,469.84.

Declining stocks handily outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,642 to 405, while on the Nasdaq.