Stocks drop sharply on economic concerns

Stocks took a nosedive Tuesday morning, dropping more than 2 percent in early trading amid tensions between North and South Korea and global economic concerns. 

The Dow Jones industrials fell sharply to around 9,800 and then began a slow creep upward as the markets weighed concerns over the European debt crisis and the falling value of the euro that was nearing a four-year low, as well as military tensions as North Korean leader Kim Jong-il put his troops on combat alert. 

European markets also fell and major indexes in Japan and Hong Kong were off by more than 3 percent. 

European Union leaders warned today of economic stagnation unless governments are proactive in promoting growth, although several countries are experiencing severe debt issues, making it difficult to provide stimulus to prop up those economies. 

After the market closed Monday at 10,066, the Dow was down 1,139 points from its April 26 high of 11,205.