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Dow below 12,000 for first time since March [Updated]

June 10, 2011 |  1:46 pm

The Dow Jones industrial average closed below the psychologically important 12,000-point level for the first time since March as fears spread that the global economy may be slowing.

The Dow ended the day down 172.45 points, or 1.4%, at 11951.91 after sixth straight weeks of losses.

The sell-off occurred after China announced that its trade surplus in May was smaller than analysts expected, suggesting that global demand for Chinese goods has slowed.

Falling stock prices took a one-day respite Thursday, with the Dow closing the day up 75.42 points, or 0.6%. But over the last six weeks, prices have fallen steadily and the Dow is now down 6.7% from the multiyear high reached in April.

The Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq indexes are down even more sharply. The Nasdaq has now lost all of the gains it has made since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 is only 1.1% above where it was in January.


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