The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 519 points Wednesday, a roller coaster of a day that saw ups and downs reminiscent of woeful times in the fall of 2008.

Within minutes of the opening Wednesday, the Dow was down by more than 300 points. Some of that loss was recovered by midday, but the numbers drifted steadily lower during the two hours before the closing bell.

The market has been erratic for a couple of weeks now. On Tuesday the Dow roared upward more than 600 points after the Fed announced a promise to keep short-term interest rates close to zero for the next two years. –BF

The Associated Press:

The stomach-churning highs and lows are reminiscent of the fall of 2008, the depths of the financial crisis, when there were swings of 800 or even 1,000 points in a day.

Computerized trading systems — programmed to analyze charts, capitalize on the tiniest changes in price and execute trades with no human intervention — are making the market rougher.

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