U.S. equities sank today with the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 index suffering brutal losses on the anniversary of their all-time highs amid widespread fears about the financial sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 678.91, or 7.33%, at 8,579.19; the S&P 500 fell 75.02, or 7.62%, ending at 909.92; and the Nasdaq composite closed down 95.21, or 5.47%, at 1,645.12. All numbers are preliminary.
This was the lowest close for the Dow since 8,516.43 on May 21, 2003. The blue-chip index ended about 39% below its record high of 14,164.53 set on Oct. 9, 2007, while the S&P ended about 41% below its all-time high of 1,565.15 also set on that day. This was the third-largest single-day point drop for the Dow, just 11 days after its largest point drop ever on Sept. 29.
Adding to the downward pressure was the resumption today of short selling, which had been temporarily banned by the SEC last month.