By and and  on March 2, 2009

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled through the 7,000 mark and kept falling Monday, hitting its lowest level in nearly 12 years and pulling down retail shares 4.3 percent in its wake.

Escalating global fears about the fragility of the financial sector and the drastic measures that could be necessary to right hobbled world economies dragged the Dow down nearly 300 points, or 4.2 percent, to 6,763.29. It started the day below the psychologically significant 7,000 mark, dipped below 6,900 before noon and left behind the 6,800 barrier in the final hour of trading.

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