Major US stock market indexes fall to 1997 levels

Major US stock market indexes tumbled more than 3 percent Monday to their lowest levels in more than a decade as confidence in the financial system and the overall economy continued to deteriorate. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 250.89 points, or 3.4 percent, to 7,114.78, an 11-year low, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 26.72 points, or 3.5 percent, to 743.33, a nearly 12-year low. In the last six trading days, the S&P has fallen 10 percent, while the Dow is off 9 percent. The declines Monday came as the administration of President Barack Obama sought to bolster confidence in the country's banks with a statement emphasizing that it was "standing firmly behind the banking system."