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Dow Plummets as 2018's Runaway Gains Disappear

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Monday continued the losses seen last Friday, as the Dow Jones plunged 4.6%, or over 1,100 points, to sit at 24,345.75, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell 4.1% and 3.7%, respectively. The Dow was down 1,500 points at one point during late-afternoon trading, and today marks the worst single-day point drop ever for the widely-watched index.

The VIX, an index which many investors look to in order to gauge market volatility, reached an astounding 35.02, up over 100%, at market close. This marks the largest one-day percentage increase ever for the index.

Fingers are pointing to a few things for this latest market decline. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released strong wage data, with unemployment remaining steady at 4.1% and 200,000 new jobs created last month. However, this good news had markets bracing for a potentially aggressive hike in interest rates from the Federal Reserve in the next year.

Additionally, the 10-year Treasury yield to hit a four-year high on Friday to 2.85% after it fell to a record low just 18 months ago. Today, the 10-year closed near 2.73%

Overall, it looks like the major indexes have hit the restart button on 2018 after a hot start. The S&P 500, in particular, is now down about flat on the year after reaching an all-time high last month, erasing all of its gains and breaking below its 50-day moving average.

Earlier in the day, after opening in the red, the market managed to gain back some of its losses and settle back into green territory, but that was only for a brief moment.

Some of the biggest stock movers in the Dow included oil giants ExxonMobil (XOM - Free Report) and Chevron (CVX - Free Report) , which ended the day down 5.7% and about 5%. Top decliners in the S&P 500 included Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) and Arconic (ARNC - Free Report) .

The tech-heavy Nasdaq, an index which has still managed to keep some gains this year thanks to a great January, saw companies like NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) , Vodafone (VOD - Free Report) , and Qualcomm (QCOM - Free Report) slip 8.49%, 6.25%, and 6.57%, respectively, at market close.

Today’s dramatic stock market activity even caught the attention of the White House, and in a statement, the Trump administration said that “We’re always concerned when the market loses any value, but we’re also confident in the economy’s fundamentals.”

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