[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/06/art.dow.tenthousand.hat.jpg caption="Trader Arthur Cashin wears a 'Dow 10,000' hat, one that was given out when the Dow Jones Industrial Average first hit 10,000 on March 29, 1999, as he works on the NYSE trading floor Monday."]Susan Lisovicz | Bio
CNN Financial Correspondent
We all knew it was going to be a bad day. A trader was wearing a Dow 10,000 cap before the open. When those hats were passed out a decade ago during the long bull market, every day on the trading floor was like a cocktail party. Now you might as well wear a hard hat the way stocks are falling.
The Dow fell below 10,000 very early into trading. There was some yelling on the floor but it was subdued. Everybody knew there was more to go.
By the afternoon there were fewer than 100 stocks moving higher at the NYSE. 3,100 were selling off. Everybody was wondering if this was going to be The Big One. When the Dow surpassed last Monday's loss, there was much more spirited shouting on the floor. It was 2:45pm, and unless stocks really fell off the cliff, there would be no halt in trading at that late hour.
But then a funny thing happened. Buyers stepped in and traders were disappointed. They wanted to see the big cathartic purge that often establishes a floor to the selling.
It didn't happen today. But we're early into October, a month that has a unique association with falling markets.
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