Another washout overtook Wall Street Thursday, sending major averages down as much as 7 percent as traders bailed out of the credit-battered stock market.
The market's afternoon selloff sent the Dow below 9,000 for the first time in five years, as unshakeable fears from the credit freeze combined with the expiration of short-selling rules to beat down stocks for the seventh straight day.
Selling grew downright feverish in the final hour as exasperated traders described an air of hopelessness and questions circled over what the market's capitulation selloff point might be.
"This is a disaster, I can't put it any other way. You would think capitulation would have been the 1,300-point loss in the first three days this week," said Dave Rovelli, managing director of US equity trading at Boston-based Canaccord Adams. "No one wants to own stocks. ... It's just constant negative energy."
With no end to selling in sight, there were more calls for action by policymakers.
"We need to get some traction at some point in time here to get some sort of rally," BlackRock Vice Chairman Bob Doll said on CNBC. "We've been in this freefall zone, and the Fed's going to have to get bigger, bolder and in front of things I'm afraid."
Responding to an on-air question, Doll agreed the stock market had crashed.