Over a period of three turbulent days leading up to and immediately after Standard and Poor's downgrade of the country's sovereign debt rating, U.S. stocks plunged with a ferocity and velocity not seen the darkest days of the economic collapse of 2008.

During this stomach-turning three-day span, the Dow Jones Industrial average lost 9.13% of its value while the much broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which plunged 6.7% on Monday alone, was off 18% from its April 29 peak.

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