Behind the Dow's 1,000-Point Swings: Is It the Market or the Machines?

Stocks closed down another 520 points Wednesday, and most analysts are blaming our weak growth and Europe's sick banks for the plunge. But there's a backlash theory that says the wild market swings have more to do with trading technology than underlying fundamentals.

After a day of volatile trading, the stock market closed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 520 points, a drop of 4.7 percent. That follows a 630-point drop Monday and a 430-point gain Tuesday, and USA Today reports that "High-speed computerized trading, called high-frequency trading, is exacerbating the market's big swings." The Wall Street Journal tied the sell-off to the Federal Reserve's admission that it doesn't expect the economy to get much better in the next year, plus worries over the health of European banks. The S&P 500 fell 4.4 percent, or 52 points, and the Nasdaq lost 4.1 percent, or 101 points.

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