This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Japan's Nikkei Plunges 6.2%

BANGKOK -- The Tokyo stock market plunged Monday, its first business day after an earthquake and tsunami of epic proportions laid waste to cities along Japan's northeast coast, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. Other Asian markets were mostly down.

Oil prices dropped to near $99 a barrel after the disaster threatened to send the world's third-largest economy into recession, crimping demand for crude. In currencies, the dollar was down against the yen and the euro.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average dived 633.94 points, or 6.18%, to close at 9,620.49 -- wiping out gains made in 2011 while hitting its lowest level in four months. Worries about the economic impact of Friday's disaster, including massive power shortages that could disrupt factories, triggered a broad selloff that hit all sectors. The broader Topix index was down 7.5%.

Shares of several major companies were overwhelmed with sell orders and had yet to trade. Among those, the Tokyo Electric Power , was set to fall by double digits as it struggled with malfunctioning nuclear reactors and a power shortage that led the company to announce rolling blackouts in parts of Tokyo and its suburbs.

Companies with nuclear power-related businesses such as those that build nuclear power plants, registered staggering losses, including Hitachi (HIT), down 16.2%, and Toshiba, down 16.3%. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries slumped 10% and Kobe Steel skidded 6.4%.

Stocks in other sectors also took major hits as investors dumped shares over concerns about economic production and consumption. Car makers slid as northeastern Japan is a major center for auto production, complete with a myriad of parts suppliers and a network of roads and ports for efficient distribution.

Major manufactures halted production around the country. Toyota (TMC) , the world's largest automaker, fell 7.9%; Honda (HMC) lost 6.5%; and Nissan (NSANY) dropped 9.5%.

Insurance companies -- many of which will likely face heavy claims for lost property and infrastructure -- also suffered sharp drops, including Tokio Marine Holdings, down 12.4%. Cosmo Oil, whose refinery has been on fire since the 8.9-magnitude quake, slid by a withering 21.6%.

Analysts said the prognosis for Japan's economy in the near term depended heavily on whether it could stave off reactor meltdowns at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Four nuclear plants in northeastern Japan have reported damage, but the danger was greatest at the Dai-ichi plant.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,979.13 +59.54 0.35%
S&P 500 1,986.51 +4.91 0.25%
NASDAQ 4,526.4820 -1.0320 -0.02%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs