The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 297.81 points, or 3.79%, to 7552.60, the S&P 500 lost 37.67 points, or 4.56%, to 789.17 and the Nasdaq Composite sank 63.70 points, or 4.15%, to 1470.66
The latest selloff illustrates how confused the markets remain about the Treasury Department’s latest financial rescue plan and how skeptical many are about the speed of the $787 billion stimulus package President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday.
By a fraction of a point, the Dow ended above the crucial 7552.29 level at which the benchmark index settled in November for the first time since 2003. Since hitting a record high of 14164 in November 2007, the Dow has lost 46.7% of its value, including a drop of 13.9% in 2009 alone. The S&P 500, which traders follow more closely, fell below the crucial 800 level Tuesday to the lowest level since Nov. 20.