By the close in New York, the Dow Jones index was down 157 points, or 2.33 per cent, at 6,583.11, the largest back-to-back point drop since the crash of 1987. The sell-off came on the heels of a 140-point loss suffered on the Dow on Thursday. By falling below the psychologically important 6,600 level, the Dow set off alarm bells that its decline may be worse than a mere correction, and signal instead the start of a longer- term spiral. On 11 March, the index was at a high of 7,085.16.
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