Japanese Nikkei Down 7.3 Percent

Part of a global sell-off


U.S. stocks, which fell sharply Wednesday, were poised for more declines Thursday. Following a sharp sell-off in global markets, Dow Jones industrial average futures were 1% lower while the broader Standard &Poor's 500 futures fell 1.2%. The Nasdaq composite index was down 1.1%.

Those declines are dwarfed by the scale of the reverse in Japan's Nikkei 225 index, which plunged 7.3% Thursday. It was the biggest one-day drop since Japan was hit by a devastating tsunami more than two years ago. Some sort of decline in global indexes had been anticipated following a stock run that's seen many benchmark indexes break records week after week this year.