NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average accelerated its decline Thursday, falling more than 300 points and joining other major market indicators in bear market territory.
The blue chip index, which dropped by triple digits in six of the past nine trading sessions, fell to the 9,379 level in the opening minutes of trading, putting the Dow down more than 20 percent from the closing high of 11,722.98 it reached on Jan. 14, 2000. A drop of 20 percent is considered bear market territory.
The Dow continued to slide in heavy trading, falling 308.56 to 9,178.44 in late morning.
The Nasdaq composite index, which is down more than 63 percent from its own high of 5,048.62, reached March 10, 2000, was off 27.96 at 1,802.27.
The market's broadest measure, the Standard & Poor's 500, was down 33.03 at 1,089.11. The S&P 500 has lost more than a quarter of its value since peaking at 1,527.46 a year ago.
"This is about a market that is forecasting a recession," said Gary Kaltbaum, a technical analyst at First Union Securities.
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