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Wall Street had another rough day on Thursday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq index dipping into correction territory and the Dow Jones closing 548 points down after another day of market convulsions.
Following a rocky morning of premarket trading, the major exchanges had pared their losses by midday and looked set to regain their footing. However, by mid-afternoon, the sell-off had intensified: All 11 sectors of the S&P were trading lower, the Dow had plunged by 699 points, and the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's "fear gauge," hit its highest level since February.
As investors fled the stock market for bonds and other safer assets, gold surged by 3 percent to hit its highest level since early August.
Energy and financials bore the brunt of Thursday's sell-off; oil fell to a two-week low after a report indicated inventory in the U.S. was higher than anticipated. Insurers also suffered losses as Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida and the Carolinas.
The market rebounded slightly after news broke that China's President Xi Jinping would likely meet with President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina next month. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow confirmed to reporters on Thursday that a meeting was under discussion.
Thursday's market mayhem followed a global ricochet triggered the previous day when the Dow Jones tumbled by more than 800 points to its lowest level since February as investors responded to rising rates, trade tensions and a huge tech sell-off.