Published: May 06, 2010 8:26 PM EDT

NEW YORK  - Fears that Greece's debt problems could halt the global economic recovery sent stocks into a nosedive.

At one point the Dow Jones industrials was down almost 1,000 points, before recovering.

Computer selling intensified the selling as investors watched protests in the streets of Athens on TV. Fears are running high in the financial markets that the Greek government will not be able to implement austerity measures that would enable it to contain its debt problems.

And, in turn, that the country's problems will hurt other economies in Europe and perhaps the U.S. The Dow's gyrations showed the high emotions in the markets.

Down 998.50 points in mid-afternoon, it recovered minutes later to a loss of fewer than 400 points.

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