Dow drops 180 points, ending 3-day winning streak

NEW YORK (AP) — A three-day winning streak in the stock market came to an end Wednesday as investors worried about Europe’s ability to contain its debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 180 points. Raw materials companies had the biggest declines after prices for commodities like copper and oil fell sharply.

Traders focused on remarks from German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggesting that the second bailout package for Greece might have to be renegotiated. Several European leaders want banks to take bigger losses on Greek bonds. France and the European Central Bank oppose the idea.

Germany’s parliament is set to vote Thursday on a measure that would give a European rescue fund more powers to fight the region’s debt crisis. Finland’s parliament approved the proposal Wednesday, lifting some uncertainty over the debt crisis issue which has been dogging financial markets since late July.

“This is a market that has been fluctuating and is thoroughly susceptible to any news, any rumors, any innuendos,” about Europe, said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 179.79 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 11,010.90. It had gained 413 points over the past two days.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 24.32, or 2.1 percent, to 1,151.06.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 55.25, or 2.2 percent, to 2,491.58

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