A bad day in the financial markets was made worse by an apparent trading glitch, leaving traders and investors nervous and scratching their heads over how a mistake could send the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a 1,000-point tailspin.
At its afternoon low, the Dow had plummeted 998.50 points, its biggest intraday point drop ever. The swing from its intraday high was 1,010.14 points.
The Dow eventually rebounded to close down 347.80 points, or 3.2%, at 10520.32, its worst percentage decline since April 2009. Stocks from Dow components Procter & Gamble and 3Msuffered precipitous declines. At one point shares of P&G tumbled 37%.
All this fogginess about botched trades came as the market was already on edge about Greece and the European debt crisis.
Just before the panic started, which was around 2:30pm ET, Mohamed El-Erian said on CNBC that the Greek crisis is about to spread.
"We've seen a crisis start in a country—Greece—become regional, impact the whole of the Euro zone and is on the verge of truly going global," said El-Erian, CEO of the world's biggest bond fund.
Rochdale analyst Dick Bove said the riots in Greece, which escalated after theGreek austerity bill was passed, are also a telling sign.
"There is simply a growing recognition that Greece has got to default, said Rochdale banking analyst Dick Bove. "The riots in the streets showed the decision to repay the debt was not going to be made by the people in Germany, France and Switzerland, it's going to be made by people in Greece and they're not going to repay it," he said. "Anyone seeing the riots is going to recognize that this government is going to be thrown out and anything replacing this government is going to be far more leftist leaning and they're going to repudiate."