U.S. markets plunged sharply Friday amid fears about Europe and skepticism that Congress can pass President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs package.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 303.68 points, or 2.7 percent, to close at 10,992.13.It was the steepest decline in more than three weeks.
The Nasdaq was down 61.15, or 2.42 percent, to close at 2,467.99. And the S&P 500 was down 31.67, or 2.67 percent, to close at 1,154.23.
Rising fears about fallout from Europe's debt crisis triggered the downturn.
Meanwhile, the President's job proposal — a mix of tax incentives and infrastructure projects — got mixed reviews in New York City.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy group, thinks no one proposal will fix the economy, but the combination of measures offered by President Obama could encourage business investment and job creation.
City Comptroller John Liu said the proposal to cut payroll taxes could also create or save 25,000 jobs. That's one reason the Lillian Roberts, executive director of the city's largest union, DC-37, supports the proposal.
"Regardless of the cost, we need to get a jump start somewhere, and I think that this would be a great start and there would be more realized than imagined," she said. But, Roberts worries the proposals will not be approved by Congress.
The President used the words "small business" nine times in his address, and it was these same small business owners that were skeptical of the proposals offered by Mr. Obama.
Varda Shamban, owner for a chocolate factor in Elizabeth, N.J, laid off a quarter of her staff, said tax incentives would not convince her to hire back those laid off workers.
"Would be nice to have more credit to hire, but we need demand," she said.
With the Associated Press