The global market freakout of 2016 just got worse.The latest scare came on Thursday as China's stock market crashed 7% overnight and crude oil plummeted to the lowest level in more than 12 years.
The Dow dropped 392 points on Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 2.4%, while the Nasdaq tumbled 3%.
The wave of selling has knocked the Dow down 911 points, or more than 5% so far this year. That's the worst four-day percentage loss to start a year on record, according to FactSet stats that go back to 1897. The Nasdaq, down over 6% in 2016, is off to its bleakest start since 2000.
"Investors have started the new year in panic mode," said Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory Yardeni Research.
Both the Dow and Nasdaq officially closed on Thursday in a "correction," signaling the first 10% drop from previous highs since last summer.
"This has all the earmarks of the beginning of a significant stock market correction. Many would argue it's the beginning of a bear market," Tim Anderson, managing director of MND Partners, wrote in a client note.
Most of the blame goes to China, which is believed to be the biggest threat to U.S. stocks this year.
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