NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks plunged at the open today, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than 100 points amid fears the inflation-wary Federal Reserve is now leaning toward an economy-slowing boost in interest rates.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the Dow was down 105.63 at 8,958.99, sinking below 9,000 for the first time in two weeks. By 10:30, the Dow was down 173.63 to 8,890.99

Broad-market indexes also took a big hit after interest rates shot above a key level in the bond market, which was rattled by a report today in The Wall Street Journal.

The article said Fed officials, worried that the U.S. economy may not be slowing as much as they expected or desired, agreed at their March 31 meeting that a boost in the central bank's key lending rates is more likely than a decrease. The officials say the fiscal crisis in Asia seems to be stabilizing, and domestic economic vigor appears to be offsetting the ill effects of Asia on U.S. exports.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by more than an 8-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 85.80 million shares, up slightly from Friday's early pace.

The Standard & Poor's 500 list was down 15.50 at 1,092.40, and the NYSE composite index was down 7.53 at 566.94.

The Nasdaq composite index was down 42.79 at 1,826.17.

The American Stock Exchange composite index was down 9.42 at 732.44.

Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei stock average fell 2.3 percent. In afternoon trading, Frankfurt's DAX index was down 1.1 percent and London's FT-SE 100 was down 1.9 percent.

On Friday, stocks fell sharply as the imminent conclusion to profit-reporting season left the market with few near-term prospects for more record-setting gains.