Stocks plunged Monday as fear overtook investors. It was the first trading day since Standard & Poor's downgraded American debt. But investors also worried about the slowing U.S. economy, escalating debt problems in Europe and the prospect that fear in the markets would reinforce itself, as it did during the financial crisis in the fall of 2008. Treasurys and gold rose as investors sought a safe place to put their money. Consolidated trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange was the fourth highest on record and at its highest level since October 2008.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 634.76 points, or 5.5 percent, at 10,809.85.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 79.92, or 6.7 percent, to 1,119.46.
The Nasdaq Composite index plunged 174.72, or 6.9 percent, to 2,357.69.
For the year to date:
The Dow is down 767.66, or 6.6 percent.
The S&P is down 138.18, or 11 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 295.18, or 11.1 percent.