Stocks Plunge, Dow Drops 733

Reports showing weakness in retail sales and surprising resilience in inflation sent the S&P 500 index down 9%

U.S. stocks headed sharply lower Wednesday after a round of data showed more weakness in the U.S. economy and surprising resilience in inflation. The S&P 500 index, a key barometer of the stock market, plunged 9%, while the Dow Jones Industrial average lost nearly 8% -- the worst percentage drop since 1987's crash.

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