On March 5, America saw its stocks plummet to their lowest levels in more than 12 years as one of the world's most well known banks, and an icon of American manufacturing traded like money on monopoly board game.

Due to the instability and constant dipping in the markets, traders have become disillusioned with the markets short lived rebounds and are now more cautious.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 281.40 points, or 4.09%, to 6594.44, its lowest close since April 15, 1997 and its 14th decline in 18 sessions.

The Nasdaq Composite, which managed to keep above its November lows until Thursday, fell 54.15, or 4.00%, to 1299.59, its lowest finish since March 12, 2003.

The broad Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 30.32, or 4.25%, to 682.55, 56.4% below its bull-market peak in October 2007. That's the biggest drop for the market since the 1930s.

Shares of Citigroup, once the world's largest bank by market value, fell as low as 97 cents during the session, trading below $1 for the first time. Anxiety rose over whether the bank can be restored to health or whether it will have to be taken over by the government.

In May 2007, Citi was the biggest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization and traded for more than $55.

Co-founder of Themis Trading, Joseph Saluzzi, said, If you had told me in the summer of 2007 that would dip below $1, I would have said 'you're crazy', Marketwatch reported.

Other banks under pressure are Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase according to credit-ratings agency Moody's Investors Service. These banks had previously faired better than their competitors.

Following Moody's cut to its credit rating, Wells Fargo shares dropped 1.54, or 16%, to 8.12. JPMorgan, thought to be the healthiest of the big three Dow-component banks, fell 2.70, or 14%, to 16.60. Moody's warned tight credit would limit JPMorgan's profit potential.

The motor industry also took a beating with GM stocks falling 34 cents, or 15%, to 1.86, after its auditor raised doubt on its viability without access to additional government loans.

Life insurers were also affected with MetLife falling 2.62, or 18%, to 12.10 and Hartford Financial Services Group shedding 1.01, or 20%, to 4.13.

General Electric fell 3 cents to 6.66 even after the conglomerate sought to reassure the market about its capital position, saying its lending unit, GE Capital would be profitable in the first quarter.

GE and banks such as U.S. Bancorp have recently cut dividend payments. Those dividend payers outside the financial sector that have cash on hand are seeking to draw income-seeking investors currently fleeing banks.

Dow component Wal-Mart Stores rose 1.26, or 2.6%, to 49.75. The world's largest retailer by sales boosted its annual dividend by 15% to $1.09 a share, following a healthy 5.1% increase in February same-store sales.

Canadian Natural Resources rose 1.38, or 4.6%, to 31.49 after the oil-and-gas giant boosted its quarterly dividend and said it was making progress on an oil-sands project.

Adobe Systems rose 60 cents, or 3.7%, to 16.92 with the software company expecting to meet its first quarter earnings projection.

The cost of smoking has also increased with Altria announcing a 71 cents a pack increase on its Marlboro brand and others, following this announcement Altria added 58 cents, or 3.9%, to 15.65.

But rival Reynolds American, maker of the Camel brand of cigarettes, fell 98 cents, or 2.9%, to 32.95.