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Stocks fall sharply, extending losses
Stocks fall sharply, extending losses

U.S. stocks tumbled in midday trading Wednesday as investor fears of a global economic slowdown intensified, setting the Dow Jones industrial average on course for its fourth consecutive loss. The Dow plunged as much as 369 points in the first 10 minutes of trading, following steep declines in Europe, as the market sized up the latest batch of corporate earnings and some discouraging data on retail sales and manufacturing. Traders dumped risky assets and parked their money in investments seen as relatively safe, such as U.S. government bonds. That pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly below 2 percent, the lowest level in more than a year. “It's a function...