The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index had their worst Thanksgiving week since the markets began observing the holiday in 1942, with the Dow losing 4.8 percent and the S&P slumping 4.7 percent, The Associated Press reported.
The Dow lost 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 11,232 in a shortened trading session today. The S&P 500 decreased 3 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,159. The Nasdaq composite index dipped 19 points, or 0.8 percent, to end the week at 2,442.
The failure of the congressional supercommittee to come up with a debt-reduction plan on Monday and increasing concerns over sovereign debt in Europe took the wind out of the market’s sails, the Wall Street Journal reported.
More from GlobalPost: Stocks plummet as Congress debt talks fall apart
The outlook of investors was not improved by the news today that Standard & Poor’s had lowered Belgium's credit rating one notch to AA from AA+, Fox News reported. Moody’s downgraded Hungary's debt rating to junk status on Thursday.
"While not really a market-moving event, the downgrading of Hungarian bonds to junk status still served to highlight that the same old European debt problems remain," David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index, told Fox News.
Also today, Italian 10-year bond yields moved back above 7 percent, CNN Money reported.
According to the AP:
When borrowing costs climb above the 7 percent threshold, it deepens investor fears about a government's ability to manage its debts. Greece, Ireland and Portugal had to seek financial lifelines when their interest rates crossed the same mark.
"With the weak Italian bond auction, the choppy market and everything else coming out of Europe, it's a sense of 'here we go again,' " Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research, told the Wall Street Journal. "People are getting very concerned that the European politicians aren't going to come up with any solutions anytime soon."