By  on May 20, 2010

Hopes for a seamless economic recovery might have been a mite optimistic.

That was the verdict of the world’s securities markets Thursday as investors on both sides of the Atlantic — troubled by an unexpected increase in U.S. jobless claims, lingering doubts about the European Union’s bailout of Greece and even the uncertain outlook for retailing among stores reporting quarterly results — sold with a zeal approaching abandon. By the time U.S. markets closed, retail stocks were down 3.2 percent, the S&P 500 had sunk below 1,100 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, above 11,000 at the start of the month, had fallen to within 68 points of the 10,000 mark.

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