New fears about the fate of the European rescue plan reverberated through stock markets in the United States and around the world.
Stocks were hit hard early in the day after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou made a surprise call for a public vote on Greece's bailout -- raising questions about a carefully crafted rescue plan agreed to only last week. Conflicting reports later in the day about whether the referendum will indeed occur kept investors on edge.
The Dow Jones industrial average sank 297 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each fell about 3%.
The day's selloff puts the S&P 500 and Nasdaq back in negative territory for the year, while the Dow is up just 0.7% in 2011.
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