(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks plummeted as of mid-day, with the S&P 500 poised to close at its lowest level since Aug. 25, and the Dow nearing is lowest point since Sept. 29. Crude prices continued to tumble and data showing falling retail sales rekindled concern about the health of the economy.

If the trading day were to end at the levels seen at 1:30 p.m., the Dow would have been down 522 points for the ninth-largest one-day point drop for the index, edging out the losses of Aug. 10, 2011.

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