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Stocks plunge as attention returns to weak economy

Continuing with a week of extreme highs and lows, stocks tumbled again on Wednesday, with the Dow losing 520 points, the Nasdaq falling 101, and the S&P 500 closing 52 points down

Richard Drew / AP
Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The Dow lost more than 500 points on Wednesday, for the second time this week.

Stocks plunged again Wednesday as investors turned their attention back to the weak economy and Europe's debt problems. Most of the big gains that followed a Federal Reserve pledge to extend super-low interest rates vanished.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 520 points, or 4.6 percent, to 10,719. The S&P 500 fell 52, or 4.4 percent, to 1,120, and the Nasdaq fell 101 points, or 4.1 percent, to 2,381.

On Tuesday, the Dow gained 429 points after the Fed said it planned to keep interest rates extremely low at least through the middle of 2013.

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