"This was a massive liquidation panic" ☛ Bill Strazzullo

"This was a massive liquidation panic," said Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist for Bell Curve Trading, a Freehold, N.J., technical-research firm.

As the losses accelerated, there were little to no "buy" orders left in many stocks and other assets, causing a plunge that saw some securities spiral to near zero. "You just blew through everything," he said.