A drop in the euro signaled a new level of anxiety about the European debt crisis, and investors sought cash as the safest asset. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 131 points to 11,823. Mark Lasseigne has your market report in today's Acadiana Business Index.

Countering the euro’s fall was a rise in the dollar, putting pressure on commodity prices, many of which are priced in dollars. Gold prices fell nearly 5%, dropping below the $1600 level for the first time in three months. Silver prices, which often shadow gold, fell 7% while copper dropped about 5%.

Energy stocks were hit as commodity prices fell steeply.

Crude oil prices posted their biggest one-day drop in three months, to below $95 a barrel on growing worries about weak oil demand in the U.S. and Europe.

Discount brokers Charles Schwab and E*Trade said they are seeing steep monthly drops in trading activity as market volatility remains high.

In corporate news,

Shares of Avon Products rallied 5.1% to top the S&P 500 gainers list after the beauty products company said the current CEO will step down.

On the downside, First Solar tumbled 21% after the solar-panel maker cut its outlook for the year and gave a disappointing outlook for 2012.