US Economy Woes Cause Asian Market to Plunge

June 25, 2008 9:38:55 AM PDT
There were fresh signs of a weakening economy today. Construction spending has taken a big hit and that is only one part of the nation's housing problems. When the opening bell rang on Wall Street Monday morning, overseas markets had already chimed in with the bad news. Most Asian markets plunged today. Japan's Nikkei dipped 4.5% percent.

It's a nervous reaction to what happened on Wall Street Friday when the market tumbled over new worries of a U.S. recession.

They're fears that are all too real for people like Travis Munnerlyn from Orlando. "I've had to liquidate my boat, my guns, just to make ends meet," said Munnerlyn.

Like so many other Americans, the 60-year-old security guard is several months behind on his mortgage.

John Bussey of the Wall Street Journal said, "Usually, some 650,000 homes foreclosure every year in the United States. The estimates for this year are for two million."

The sub-prime mortgage mess is just part of the reason for Wall Street's latest woes. Today, the commerce department reported construction spending in January took its steepest nosedive in 14 years; a number far worse than economists expected. Everything from home building, to road construction projects were cut back.

A construction project is actually what got Travis Munnerlyn into this mess. He re-financed his home so he could add a room. Now, he's struggling to keep up. I've got $50,000 of equity in this house. I don't want to walk away from it from being in it 17 years."


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