NEW YORK — Stocks plummeted in the busiest and wildest trading ever today on the New York Stock Exchange as the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials fell more than 100 points for the first time.
The Dow average fell an unofficial 108.36 points to 2,246.73. Volume was a record 338.48 million shares.
"It's extremely emotional. People are dumping stocks with reckless abandon," said Newton Zinder, a veteran market analyst at E. F. Hutton & Co. "As trite as it may sound, the market is going down because it's going down."
The triple-digit decline was less impressive in percentage terms. Dow Jones & Co. said the drop was the 76th largest in percentage terms in the history of its average, which dates back to 1896.
Today marked the third day of heavy selling. The Dow average lost 95.46 points on Wednesday, the previous record point drop, and then tumbled 57.61 points on Thursday.