Updated from 3:48 p.m. EST

Leaving February Wasn't Enough

(At 5:24 p.m. EST)

Days like this you feel like the apocalypse is back on. We're coming off the

worst February

for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

since 1933, and we open March with more destruction.

At the end of the day, the index had plummeted 299.64 points, or 4.2%, to 6763.29 as all 30 stocks fell. Thirteen components shed 5% or more. Only

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

came close to breaking through the flat line with its 0.8% decline.

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The setback was the fourth straight for the Dow, and it was the lowest finish since all the way back in April 1997. Nearly $97 billion in market cap vanished.

With the latest loss, the Dow is now down 22.9% this year. That's in just two months. Since its all-time closing high of 14,164.53 in October 2007, the Dow has lost an astounding 52.3%.

Hardest hit at the start of the week was

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

, which dropped 20% to $1.20. Volume in the stock was extraordinary, reaching nearly 1.1 billion shares, four times the daily average.

Where exactly is the bottom in this name, or is there one? That Citi is in danger of going under a dollar is nearly incomprehensible, but seemingly no equity can be trusted for any length of time. Anything is possible now, particularly when it's of the bad variety. Consider that in the last two sessions, since the government unveiled its latest salvation for Citi, the stock has fallen by more than half.

Also crushed were

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

, down nearly 12% at $5.49, and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

and

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

, both off 10.7%.

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

was lower by 9.9%.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

fell 8.1%, and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

gave back 7.4%.

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

crushed.

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

punished.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

slammed. You get the picture.

Right now, no one is safe. None of these stocks are worth owning I guess. Maybe no stock is. Can an index go to zero?

The Good News? Day's Almost Over

(At 3:38 p.m. EST)

Less than half an hour left and the

Dow

is barely above its session low. For the record, that was under 6800. Awful.

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Recently, the index was slumping 244 points, or 3.5%, at 6819 as every component retreated. The worst stock was

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

, down nearly 19% at $1.22. That stock price is staggering on its own, but so is this -- nearly 1 billion shares have traded.

Also falling more than 10% were

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

,

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

and

GE

(GE) - Get Report

.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

was down 8.1% at $3.63, but that was well above its low for the day. Not a lot to rejoice, but we don't have much else. Let's just go ahead and write this one off and be glad that 4 p.m. on the East Coast is getting here soon.

No One's a Winner

(At 11:52 a.m. EST)

Run for the hills. Seriously, this is getting ugly. Two hours into the trading session Monday, the

Dow

is losing 213 points, or 3%, at 6850. All 30 stocks were in the red.

The worst percentage decliners were

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, down 15.2% at $3.35, and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, lower by 10.5% at $7.62. Going by what I can tell from the charts, it doesn't look like GE has seen that price since 1993.

As for the other leading laggards,

GM

(GM) - Get Report

was falling 8.8%, while

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

, on extremely heavy volume,

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

and

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

were all surrendering more than 7%.

Days like this it's hard to find something positive, so this will have to do for now -- not every stock was getting completely hammered.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

were holding up better than most, losing less than 1% each.

Like a lot of people, I sometimes find myself thinking about better days that are now long gone. I was working at Dow Jones the first time the industrial average closed above 10,000. We got hats to celebrate the occasion. The nation was cheering, Wall Street and Main Street alike. The future was bright, the stock market was unstoppable.

At times like this, it's hard to believe we ever had anything other than gloom.

Early Losses Likely

(At 8:28 a.m. EST)

AIG

(AIG) - Get Report

needs

billions more

from Washington.

Warren Buffett

, whose

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Report

had a horrible 2008, says the economy "will be in shambles" this year. Markets are plunging overseas.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

is coming off its worst February since 1933, and the index is only at half of where it was in October 2007.

Probably no surprise that Dow futures are signaling a weak open when the first trading session of March gets underway. About an hour before the opening bell in New York, index futures on the industrial average were down 134 points at 6918.

Considering all the uncertainty in the market, there's simply not a lot of reason for optimism about stocks these days. Eventually there will be, we're just not there yet. Right? Unfortunately, the only thing that does appear certain this morning is a trip below the 7000 mark, if not today, then soon.

As for individual stocks, financials were yet again under pressure.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

was down 6% in the premarket, while

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

was even worse, sinking 10.1%.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

was losing 3%.

If we do somehow end up seeing an advance Monday, it looks like the banks won't be the reason.