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U.S. Stocks Take A Tumble On ‘Brexit’ News

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange
The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. American stocks sank as pessimism spread throughout world markets on the news of Britain’s split from the European Union.

American stocks sank sharply in heavy trading on Friday, as investors, still reeling from Britain’s vote to cut ties with the European Union, kept up the selling pressure until the market closed.

Traders said that contributing to the grim day was an unwillingness to hold positions over the weekend given the possibility of more bad political news before Monday.

“Today’s events open up a whole new level of uncertainty,” said Adam Patti, the chief executive of IndexIQ. “It’s really a time to be very cautious.”

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 611 points, or 3.4 percent, to 17,399 in heavy trading on Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 75 points, or 3.6 percent, to 2,037.

It was the biggest drop for the Dow and S.&P. 500 since August.

The Nasdaq sank 202 points, or 4.1 percent, to 4,707, its worst fall since 2011.

Some European markets fell even more. France’s benchmark index lost 8 percent, and Germany’s fell 7 percent. Britain’s fell 3 percent.

The pound was down about 8 percent. Bond prices rose sharply as investors sought safety. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 1.57 percent from 1.75 percent a day earlier.

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