Around 10:45am EDT this morning, I noticed that the markets had taken a pretty sharp tumble, knocking 0.7% of the S&P 500 in a matter of minutes. Markets have certainly seen worse, but it looked sharper than I'd expect for a not-particularly-eventful day. I didn't see any relevant news stories on Google Finance and got caught-up with work shortly thereafter. So didn't find a satisfactory explanation---until a few minutes ago, that is. I learned of the 7.1 earthquake near Sendai, Japan. 14:32 UTC translates to 10:32am EDT. I imagine markets briefly feared the worst until details rolled in that it wasn't nearly as strong as the 9.0 quake and there were no serious adverse effects at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Phew.