S&P 500 sinks by 3.7 percent because of European instability

Trouble on two fronts in Europe’s debt crisis dragged the Dow Jones industrial average down 389 points Wednesday. The S&P 500 lost 3.7 percent, its biggest one-day drop since August, after Italy’s borrowing costs soared and talks collapsed in Greece on forming a new government.

The euro dropped 2 percent against the dollar and Treasury yields sank as money moved out of Europe and traders bought U.S. government bonds. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other large banks were hit hard on worries over their ability to handle a financial crisis that might be brought on by trouble in Europe.

Only one stock in the S&P 500 rose: Best Buy Co. Inc., up 1.4 percent.

The Dow sank 3.2 percent to close at 11,780.94, the biggest drop since Sept. 22. The S&P 500 lost 46.82 points, to 1,229.10.

The Nasdaq composite slid 105.84, or 3.9 percent, to 2,621.65.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are below where they started the year. The Dow is still up 1.8 percent.

BMW’s concept cars feature glass doors, carbon bodies

BMW unveiled a pair of concept cars Wednesday, one a hybrid and one electric. Both are made of lightweight carbon fiber with a see-through glass exterior. The cars are expected to go into production within the next two to three years.

The carbon fiber in the i3 city car and i8 sports car significantly reduces the weight of the vehicle and the size of its frame, giving designers more flexibility and creating more interior space for passengers, said Richard Kim, who designed the exteriors of both vehicles.

The material, used in the aerospace sector and also for high-end bicycles, is valued for its strength-to-weight ratio. It allowed for more glass where there is traditionally metal.

The doors of both vehicles are mostly made of glass, along with much of their roofs and tail ends.

Obama to cultivate jobs in trips to Australia, Indonesia

The White House says U.S. jobs will be at the forefront when President Obama embarks on a nine-day trip to Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia later this week. The visit will also highlight the growing economic and political importance of Asia.

Obama leaves Friday for Hawaii, where the U.S. will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. From there he makes a long-delayed visit to Australia, before ending his trip in Indonesia to attend the East Asia Summit.

White House officials said economic growth at home is tied directly to the growing nations of Asia, so the trip is important for Obama.