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Wall Street's 'fear index' briefly jumps above 28, marking its highest level in 8 months as Dow tumbles nearly 700 points

MarketWatch

The Cboe Volatility index VIX, +15.42% spiked Thursday afternoon, reaching the highest level in more than eights months as the main U.S. benchmarks convulsed lower. The so-called fear index gained more than 12% to reach an intraday peak of 28.84, marking the highest level for the gauge since Feb. 9 when it hit 29.06, according to FactSet data. Thursday's move comes after a 44% surge for the volatility gauge on Wednesday, which coincided with an 831-point tumble for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.17% The moves have taken the VIX, which uses S&P 500 SPX, -1.12% options to calculate expectations for volatility over the coming 30 days, well above its long-term average around 20. The gauge