Dow Plunges 531 Points China's troubles are taking a heavy toll on the markets By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Aug 21, 2015 3:00 PM CDT 86 comments Comments Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Newser) – It was bad this morning, and it got downright ugly this afternoon: The Dow finished the day down 531 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were similarly hammered, reports the TheStreet. The Dow fell more than 300 points yesterday, making this the biggest two-day drop since the financial crisis. Investors are "spooked" over China's economic troubles, and it's taking a toll on both stocks and commodities, reports the Wall Street Journal. At one point today, oil dipped below $40 a barrel, which it hasn't done since the crisis. The final numbers: The Dow fell 531 (3.12%) to close at 16,460, the Nasdaq fell 171 (3.52%) and the S&P fell 65 (3.18%). One school of thought is that this is a necessary "cleansing," as an analyst puts it at MarketWatch. "I know that everyone likes to think crash when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, but a cleansing is a good thing—not a bad one," writes LA Little. "What is being said here is a correction—not a bear market—might just be the outcome when it is all said and done."