NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - U.S. stocks caved as Wall Street joined global markets in a collective rush from risk assets in the wake of Britain's vote to depart the European Union.
"Europe is an important economic center. Europe matters quite a bit to the global economic picture," Jim Russell, a principal and portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor, told CBS MoneyWatch. "The uncertainty is what the markets are going to react to over the next few trading days."
"A lot of bets were placed on 'the remain' vote being successful, now those bets will be unwound," he added. "The reality of this vote has yet to unfold."
As market watchers struggled to assess the impact of Britain's historic Brexit from the EU, reactions to the unexpected result ranged from predictions that the move assures the U.K. will tumble into recession to projections of a limited fallout for the U.S.
In the immediate aftermath of the vote, the reaction by investors was severe. The British pound fell to its lowest level in more than three decades, and European bank stocks tallied their sharpest declines ever. European equities readied for their worst session since 2008 and gold rallied the most since the financial crisis.
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