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Stocks sink again

NEW YORK — NEW YORK -Stock prices sank yesterday to fresh bear-market lows on renewed worries about the country's banks and about General Motors Corp.

The market opened lower and fell steadily throughout the day, with the Dow Jones industrial average sagging 281.40 points, or 4.1 percent to 6,594.44, falling below the nearly 12-year low it set Tuesday. Yesterday's decline marked the second time this week that the blue-chip barometer fell nearly 300 points.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 dropped 30.32 points, or 4.3 percent, to 682.55, its lowest level since September 1996.

The Nasdaq composite index, which had been the most resilient of the major indexes, sank 54.15 points, or 4 percent, to 1,299.59, the lowest level of the bear market that began in late 2007. It fell under the gauge's previous bear-market low set in late November.

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General Motors Corp. shares fell as much as 18 percent yesterday after the troubled automaker and its auditor stoked more doubts that the company can keep its assembly lines running amid a historic dearth of new-car buyers. The stock closed down 34 cents at $1.86.

MarketWatch contributed to this article.


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