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Markets' tune ends quarter on sour note

The worst quarter for the stock market since the financial crisis ended on a down note.

Stocks fell broadly Friday on fresh signs that Europe's debt problems and the U.S. economy continue to languish.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 240.60 points, or 2.16 percent, to 10,913.38. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 28.98, or 2.50 percent, to 1,131.42. The Nasdaq composite index fell 65.36, or 2.63 percent, to 2,415.40.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq each lost more than 12 percent this quarter, the first time that's happened since the financial crisis crested at the end of 2008. The S&P 500, the benchmark for most U.S. stock mutual funds, has lost 14.3 percent since July 1, the start of the third quarter. That's the biggest quarterly drop since the three months ended Dec. 31, 2008, when global financial markets seized up.

Excluding that period, the S&P has not dropped that much in a quarter for nine years. The Dow dropped 1,500.96 points, or 12.1 percent, over the same time frame.

The government also said Friday that U.S. consumers spent slightly more in August, but earned less for the first time in nearly two years. -- AP

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