NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks suffered their worst single-day drop in three weeks Thursday as investors were spooked by a gloomy batch of global economic data, a bearish trading call by Goldman Sachs and disappointment with the outcome of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.
Expectations that Moody's plans to announce its long-anticipated downgrades of 15 global banks at the close also exacerbated losses in the final hour of trading, pushing all three major U.S. equity indices lower by about 2%.
The action in other asset classes was volatile as well with gold losing $50, bond yields flirting with a dip below 1.6%, and oil breaking below $80 a barrel. The dollar rallied by almost 1% as demand for safe-haven assets rose.
Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 251 points, or 1.96%, to close at 12,573, just above a low of 12,561 on the day.The S&P 500 lost 30 points, or 2.23%, to finish at 1325. The Nasdaq was hit the hardest, dropping more than 71 points, or 2.44%, to settle at 2859, snapping a five-day winning streak in dramatic fashion.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV