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March 16, 2011

Price Change: -1.95 percent
Trading Volume: 4.76 billion shares
VIX Index: 29.4
Trigger: Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

Trading was extremely choppy as investors tried to understand the economic impact of the catastrophic 9.0 earthquake in Japan. On this day, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advised American citizens who lived within 50 miles of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to evacuate. Investors worried the damaged reactors could potentially create even more economic chaos if radiation continued to leak.

Photo: Japan’s Nuclear Disaster/Fukushima plant: Digital Globe