The Nikkei 225 fell more than 14% in mere days.
The Nikkei 225 Index dropped more than 14% within a mere few days--a landslide in terms of market performance. Tokyo Electric Power dropped more than 24% just today. The numbers are indeed devastating for the Japanese economy, which is already set back by their enormous debt which is the highest for any industrialized, developed nation.
The Dow fell 1.71% during intraday trading (approximately at 1:30PM), while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell 1.72% and 1.68%, respectively. The FTSE 100 dropped 1.38% during trading. Oil fell 2.61% to settle at $98.55 per barrel--which is still considered a high price.
What does this mean for the global financial markets? For one, it certainly means that projections and forecasts will change for any corporation. Since many products rely on a long production chain that involves multiple countries cooperating, the disaster in Japan combined with high Oil prices will cause changes in these projections. Secondly, the bull market that the U.S. stock market experienced since Q4 last year to now may finally taper off and begin stabilizing.
However, there is some good news in all this. Many analysts believe that the crisis in Japan will finally lead to Japan's recovery from its decades long stagnant economy. Since money will be poured in to help the relief effort, one can expect construction, energy, and food supply & demands to also coincide with the relief effort. This may just be the catalyst for the beginning of a much better economy for Japan, which has experienced a slow, crawling economy for many years.