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Dow Slumps 200, S&P Breaks Below 1500 on Italy Election Worries; Vix Soars 35%
CNBC.com | February 25, 2013 | 04:27 PM EST

Stocks kicked off the week with a big thud with all three major indexes dropping more than 1 percent across the board as investors remained concerned over Italy's election results. The S&P 500 broke below 1,500 and the Dow declined more than 200 points, retreating from its fresh multi-year high.

(Read More: After-Hours Buzz: ADSK, CZR & More )

The Dow Jones Industrial Average [ .DJI 17827.75  +12.81 (+0.07%) ] tumbled 216.40 points, or 1.55 percent, to close at 13,784.17, shortly after hitting a fresh multi-year high earlier in the session, dragged by Bank of America and Caterpillar. The blue-chip index slumped 154 points just in the final hour of trading. Earlier, the index was within less than 100 points of an all-time closing peak before retreating.

The S&P 500 [ .SPX 2072.83  +5.80 (+0.28%) ] slumped 27.75 points, or 1.83 percent, to finish at 1,487.85. And the Nasdaq [ .IXIC 4787.32  +29.07 (+0.61%) ] dropped 45.57 points, or 1.44 percent, to end at 3,116.25. Both the Dow and S&P logged their worst one-day drop this year.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, surged more than 30 percent to trade near 19, its biggest one-day percentage gain since last November.

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