The Dow Jones industrial average fell 419 points at closing on Thursday, similar to the steep gyrations that gripped the stock market last week.
With news of a spike in U.S. jobless claims last month and another bad housing report, other economic developments erupted: The price of oil fell more than five dollars, gold set another record, the U.S. government's 10-year Treasury notes hit their lowest yield, and the average mortgage rate in the United States fell to its lowest in at least 40 years. The Wall Street losses on Thursday wiped out much of the nearly 700 points gained by the Dow over five days.
Selling on Wall Street increased after the release of several reports, including that the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose to 408,000, or 9,000 more than the week before.
Other data showed that inflation at the consumer level in July was the highest since March; sales of previously occupied homes fell in July for the third time in four months; and manufacturing has sharply weakened in the mid-Atlantic states.
European debt continued to add to market worries on Thursday, since a default by any country would hurt the European banks that hold its bonds, plus U.S. banks that loaned to the European banks.
With Thursday's development, the Dow was down 13.6 percent since stocks began falling July 21.