Stocks plunged sharply Thursday, with the Dow down more than 500 points, in its worst one-day drop since December 2008.
All three major averages tumbled into negative territory for the year as investors were rattled over an intensifying global economic slowdown and ahead of the widely-followed monthly unemployment report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 450 points, led by Alcoa [AA 12.94 -1.32 (-9.26%) ] and BofA [BAC 8.83 -0.71 (-7.44%) ]. The blue-chip index fell into "correction territory," defined by a drop of 10 percent from its peak from its intraday high in May. The last time the Dow dropped more than 400 points in a single session was in Dec. 2008.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, surged more than 30 percent to trade near 32.
Volume was at its highest level this year with the consolidated tape of the NYSE at 7.15 billion shares, while 1.82 billion shares changed hands on the floor.