By the close of the day, the Dow stood at 15,987 down 391.86 points or 2.39 percent.
The S&P 500 declined by more than 3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell by 4 percent, and since the beginning of the year both the Dow and S&P 500 have declined by 9 percent.
Declines in oil prices and Chinese equities caused investors to flee stocks and choose safer assets. "Concerns about China, the world’s No. 2 economy, its weakening currency and turmoil in its stock markets have kept investors shy of risky assets in what has been a highly volatile start to the year," states the article.
"While we expected to have more volatility in 2016, I certainly did not expect the year to start with this big of a downdraft," said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones. "It’s very frustrating and painful day to day. When stocks start dropping, investor fears increases, which leads to more drops in the short term."
"It’s really been a shoot-first, ask questions-later kind of market," said Andy Brooks, head of U.S. equity trading at T. Rowe Price, who said that the volatility in stocks is being caused by concerns with China and the price of oil.
Update 4:06 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect the closing numbers of the Dow Jones Industrial.