Dow Drops 228, Sinks Below 12,000 Worries over global economy kneecap Dow By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Mar 10, 2011 3:13 PM CST 2 comments Comments Specialist Christopher Culhane works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, March 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Newser) – Weak economic news from China, the US, and Spain combined with a slump in oil companies sent stocks sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest one-day drop since August. It fell 228 points, or 1.9%, to close at 11,984, while the S&P 500 index fell 24, or 1.9%, to 1,295, and Nasdaq fell 50, or 1.8%, to 2,701. Investors were jarred when China reported a surprise trade deficit. Moody's, meanwhile, downgraded Spain's debt, re-igniting fears about Europe's debt crisis. And in the US, the government reported that new applications for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week.