What to Know
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 1,500 points, the biggest intraday drop in the market's history
Within minutes it recovered almost half its losses, but was still on track for a historic decline
The decline was enough to send the market into negative territory for the year
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged as much as 1,500 points Monday in one of the most historic routs in stock market history.
It was the largest single-day point drop ever for the market, wiping out gains for the year.
The market bounced back somewhat in the last 45 minutes of trading but still fell more than 1,100 points, the biggest one-day closing point drop in history by a wide margin.
While the market was never close to the point where automated "circuit breakers" would stop trading, the plunge still sent a chill through investors.
"This sell-off, in the bigger scheme of things, is not that big. But it is very important in psychological terms," Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told CNBC.
Monday's sell-off follows a loss of more than 600 points on Friday. A strong jobs report fueled fears that the Federal Reserve may move aggressively this year to raise interest rates and keep the economy from overheating.
Before today, the biggest down close in history was in late Sept. 2008, in the depths of the financial crisis, when the Dow fell 778 points.
But that also represented a 7 percent decline in the market; in today's Dow, the decline in percentage terms is only half as bad.
White House officials told NBC News that the fundamentals of the economy were strong -- a statement often used by key policymakers to reassure markets and investors.