The US markets had a very harsh start to the day

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 10:09

The US markets had a very harsh start to the day, the Dow Jones fell more than 100 points after Japan raised the alert level on its nuclear crisis and some disappointing results. Most Asian markets and Euroland were off as well.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 107 points, or 0.9 %, to 12,274. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 9, or 0.7 %, to 1,315. The Nasdaq composite index fell 23, or 0.8 %, to 2,747. The worsening situation in Japan and an unexpected drop in U.S. exports sent bond prices sharply higher and their yields lower. The yield on the 10-year note fell to 3.49 % from 3.58 %.

The energy sector weakness hit the S&P 500 index. Oil prices slid 3.5 % to $106.03 per barrel. Goldman Sachs, which had expected higher oil prices, surprised the market with a report early Tuesday saying it now expects a "substantial pullback."