Stock market suffers its worst single day loss in four years

- NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks suffered their worst day in four years Friday with the Dow dropping  530 points following a sell-off in major indexes around the world on more signs that China's economy is slowing.

The Dow ended the day at 16,459.75 -- a loss of 3.12 percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 64.84 points, falling to 1,970.89 -- a loss of 3.19 percent. 

Meanwhile, the tech stocks also took a beating with the NASDAQ ending the day at 4,706.04 -- a loss of 171.42 points or 3.52 percent. 

The selling was widespread, with all 10 industries of the Standard and Poor's 500 down, and gathered strength in the afternoon.

Oil plunged below $40 for the first time since the financial crisis, and government bonds rallied as investors scooped them up in a flight to safety. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was on track for its worst week since 2011.

The selling began in Asia, then spread to Europe, with major indexes there losing more than 2 percent. Gold, a traditional haven for fearful investors, rose for a second day.

Markets began falling last week after China announced a surprise devaluation of its currency, the yuan. Investors interpreted the move as a sign the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy could be more extreme that they had thought. On Friday, they got more bad news: A survey showed the manufacturing sector on the mainland continues to contract.

Investors are also worried about more turmoil in Greece after the resignation of its prime minister.

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