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The Dow Jones industrial average is down 307 points in midday Monday

Wall Street stocks plummeted Monday morning on the first-ever downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging as much as 307 points in midday Monday.

U.S. stocks fell sharply Monday and gold surged in whipsaw trading as investors fled from risky assets in the first activity since Standard & Poor’s downgraded the federal government’s credit rating late Friday.