The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility index <.VIX> rose to its highest intraday high since April 2009 on Thursday.

The VIX, also known as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose 27.86 percent to 45.16 as stock indexes fell more than 3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 312.20 points, or 2.99 percent, at 10,132.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 36.35 points, or 3.26 percent, at 1,078.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 80.84 points, or 3.52 percent, at 2,217.53.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)