Wall Street stocks have been smashed once again as inflation fears spook investors, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its second biggest point loss ever after Monday's record.
The Dow Jones industrial average tipped 1,032 points into the red, down 4.2 per cent, to close at 23,860.
According to Bloomberg, Thursday's sell-off wiped US$93 billion ($129b) of the collective wealth of the world's 500 richest people, with 20 of them losing as least US$1b each.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos lost US$5.3b, Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett lost US$3.5b, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg lost US$3.4b. Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, meanwhile, lost US$1.1b.
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said investors should "not be too concerned".
"We may have seen the worst, but it's too early to say for sure. However, our view remains that it's just another correction," he said in a client note.
"Corrections in the order of 5-15 per cent are normal ... At times like the present, the flow of negative news reaches fever pitch. Talk of billions wiped off share markets, record point declines for the Dow Jones index and talk of 'crashes' help sell copy and generate clicks and views. But such headlines are often just a distortion.
"We are never told of the billions that market rebounds and the rising long-term trend in share prices adds to the share market. And as share indices rise in level over time of course given size percentage pullbacks will result in bigger declines in terms of index points."
Vimal Gor, head of income and fixed interest at BT Investment Management, said while history had taught him to be cautious of expecting any meaningful pick-up in inflation "until I see the whites of its eyes", fear of inflation could drive markets in the short-term.
Comparing today's situation to 1994, when a sharp sell-off in bonds eventually tipped into stocks, Gor said the charts looked "eerily similar". "If they are to be believed things will stabilise in February before another sharp sell-off in March," he said in a client note.
"We'll see if history repeats soon."
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, White House spokesman Raj Shah expressed concern about the drop in stocks, but continued to point to robust employment data and corporate earnings as signs that "long-term fundamentals demonstrate a healthy economy", Agence France-Presse reported.
US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly taken credit for the booming stock market, earlier this week addressed the crash, describing it as a "big mistake".
"In the 'old days,' when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up," he tweeted. "Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!"
- Additional reporting from Washington Post, news.com.au and Bloomberg