The CNBC Halftime report has been a little bit more influential in the markets lately. Jon Najarian spoke about the potential for margin calls near the close of day. That seemed to ignite another run to the downside in the major indices.

  • The Dow industrial average is now down around the thousand points or -2.93%
  • S&P is down 160 points or 3.61%
  • NASDAQ index is down 605 points or -4.4%
  • Russell 2000 is down 51.6 points or -2.6%

In the forex, the EURUSD has seen a rebound off earlier lows at the start of the North American session and the USDJPY is marginally higher in the favor of the USD, but the commodity currencies (CAD, AUD and NZD) have lost value vs the greenback in the North American session. The USD is the strongest of the majors. The AUD and the NZD are the weakest.

The strongest to weakest of the major currencies

The dollar moves are reflective of "risk off" flows as markets adjust to the potential for a tighter Fed policy to contain inflation. That focus would in turn slow growth and demand in the process. Time will tell but that is what is driving the markets.