NEW YORK (AP) - There was no let-up in the flight from stocks and bonds Thursday as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 353 points and wiped out almost two months of gains.
A day after the Federal Reserve roiled U.S financial markets when it said it could step back from its aggressive economic stimulus program later this year, financial markets continued to slide. A slowdown in Chinese manufacturing added to Wall Street's worries.
The breadth of the sell-off was seen across global financial markets, from sharply lower stock markets in Asia to falling government bond prices in Europe and the U.S. Gold also plunged.
The Dow's drop - which knocked the average down 2.3 percent to 14,758.32 - was its biggest since November 2011. It comes just three weeks after the blue-chip index reached an all-time high of 15,409.
The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 40.74 points, or 2.5 percent, to 1,588.19. It also reached a record high last month, peaking at 1,669.
Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market, a sign that investors are aggressively reducing risk.
In U.S. government debt, the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rose to its highest level since August 2011.