Markets tumble for second straight day

546-point Dow drop only slightly better than Wednesday's 832-point nosedive

Markets tumble for second straight day

Markets continued to fall Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 546 points, shedding 2.1 percent on the day. 

But combined with Wednesday's dire 832-point fall, the Dow dropped 1,378 points, or 5.3 percent, in the past two days -- posting the worst two-day loss since February. 

The Dow fell as much as 699 points earlier in the day before closing marginally higher. 

The S&P 500 closed down 2.1 percent, posting a loss for the sixth straight day, while the Nasdaq closed down 1.3 percent after tumbling into correction territory earlier Thursday. 

Amid a continued push by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, investors are seeking safer avenues for their money, with gold climbing nearly three percent during the day. 

Raising interest rates makes it more expensive to borrow. 

Also worrying investors is the continued trade war between the world's two largest economies - the U.S. and China. 

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth projections for both countries as their economic dispute shows no signs of relenting any time soon, and investors are increasingly skittish over the impacts of tariffs on tech companies. 

Amid the spat, speculation has grown that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet at next month's G20 meeting in Argentina. Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, told television news network CNBC Thursday that there is some momentum towards the sit-down. 

Next week will begin earnings season when U.S. companies will begin to release their quarterly earnings.