Dow plunges 531 points as sell-off turns nasty

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NEW YORK: The market sell-off took on an especially nasty tone Friday as stocks dropped for a fourth straight day with the Dow plunging more than 500 points and dropping into correction territory and oil setting a new 6 1/2-year low as it dipped below $40 a barrel.

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Global markets have come under pressure this week on growing concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and slumping oil prices. Fresh data from China Friday showing weaker manufacturing added to the worries.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 531 points, or 3.1 percent, to 16,460, a day after the blue-chip index tumbled 358 points in its biggest point plunge since Nov. 9, 2011. Friday’s losses sent the blue-chip index down 10.1 percent from its May 19 record closing high of 18,312.39 — meaning the blue-chip gauge is officially in correction territory.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.2 percent to 1971 as it sunk below 2000 and further into the red for the year. The Nasdaq composite index tumbled 3.5 percent to 4706.

Oil remained under pressure Friday as US crude fell as low as $39.86 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, tumbled 60 cents to $46.02 in London after losing 54 cents the previous day to close at $46.62.

TNS

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