U.S. stocks plunged on Monday in their worst day of Christmas Eve trading ever, as the S&P 500 entered a bear market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 653 points Monday in volatile trading, falling below 22,000. The Dow sank more than 2 percent, then recovered nearly all of the day's losses, before again falling more than 2 percent. The S&P 500 fell 2.7 percent, slipping into a bear market as it fell 20.06 percent from recent highs. Wall Street traditionally considers a drop of 20 percent or more from recent highs to be a bear market. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 2.2 percent.
Markets responded to turmoil in Washington. Multiple reports said President Donald Trump is discussing how to remove Jerome Powell from his position as chairman of the Federal Reserve. That discussion, as well as the recent market volatility, spurred Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to call the leaders of the six largest U.S. banks over the weekend. Additionally, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced he would step down at the end of February, saying his views do not align with the president's.
Trump resumed his attack on the Fed on Monday, tweeting that the central bank is "the only problem" with the U.S. economy.
"They don't have a feel for the Market," Trump said.
All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 are now negative for December, the fourth quarter and the full year.
Last week the Dow lost 1,655 points, or 6.8 percent. That was the Dow's worst week of trading since October 2008 during the financial crisis. The S&P 500 also lost 7 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite is now 22 percent below its record reached in August and is in a bear market.