The Dow Jones industrial average closed below 12,000 today, the first time it has dropped below that mark since March. Fears that the global economic recovery has stalled also weighed on other indexes. The market registered its sixth straight weekly loss, the longest weekly losing streak since the fall of 2002. The Dow fell 172 to close at 11,952, Nasdaq dropped 41 to 2,644, and the S&P 500 dropped 18 to 1,271.
If the losses continue into next week, it would be the first time in 10 years that the market suffered a seven-week stretch of losses. The last such stretch began in May 2001 as the dot-com bubble deflated. Traders are worried that weaker hiring, sluggish industrial output, and a moribund housing market are reversing a bull market that has lifted the Dow 20% over the past year. (Read more Dow Jones stories.)