Lightning smoke fire volcano gloomy darkREUTERS/Ivan AlvaradoLightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near Osorno city in Chile, June 5, 2011.

It’s really ugly on Wall Street.

In afternoon trade Thursday, the Dow was down 340 points, the S&P 500 was down 40 points, and the Nasdaq was down 87 points.

This follows what was a furious rally on Wall Street on Wednesday, as the Dow gained more than 270 points and all the major indexes gained more than 1.6%.

At their worst levels, each of the major stock indexes was down more than 2%.

On Thursday morning, bond yields fell all around the world, with the yield on the US 10-Year Treasury note falling to below 2.3%, its lowest level of the year.

In economic news, the latest report on weekly initial jobless claims showed that claims fell to their lowest four-week average level since February 2006. This week’s report also beat expectations, with initial claims coming in at 287,000 against expectations for 295,000.

In stock news, activist hedge fund investor Carl Icahn published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook saying he thought the company was undervalued and that the stock was worth $US203 per share.

Bill Gross also just held his first webcast after joining Janus. You can read our coverage here, and read his first investment letter after joining Janus here.

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