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Oil Freefall Gives Dow Worst Week Since 2011; VIX Jumps

Signs of an improving economy did nothing to shield stocks from oil’s freefall as the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst week since 2011, volatility surged and fund managers said anxiety is building among clients and themselves.

More than $1.2 trillion was erased from global equities over the five days, as the drop in crude below $58 a barrel raised concern over the strength of the global economy. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a measure of trader anxiety that has spent most of the year hovering about 25 percent below its historical average, jumped 78 percent as oil’s impact rippled through financial markets.