In midafternoon trading, the Dow fell 214.89, or 3 percent, to 6,848.04. The Dow last closed below the 7,000 level on May 1, 1997.
Broader stock indicators also slid. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 25.15, or 3.4 percent, to 709.94, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 40.15, or 2.9 percent, to 1,337.69.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 15.66, or 4 percent, to 373.36.
That's the reaction of big government coming to our rescue, the Dow tanking faster than "Celebrity Apprentice." For optimists, it's a great time to buy low - or stay the course. But just how low will we go?
"I don't think we find a bottom in the market until we see some sort of increased level of optimism and confidence among consumers and investors," said Baird.
We find plenty of bottoms at KAR (see post below). KAR reader Night Rider found some optimism on a toddler at last week's D.C. Tea Party protest:
Meh. We'll bring out our poop signs at the next protest, and yell "It's like a stimulus, except it says "POOP!"