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S&P 500 sinks below 700 in Wall St rout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended losses heading toward the close on Monday, taking the benchmark S&P 500 briefly below the 700 level for the first time since October 1996.

* Another government bailout of American International Group AIG.N and the insurer's record $61.7 billion quarterly loss raised fears that efforts to stem the financial crisis still are not enough.

* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 291.59 points, or 4.13 percent, at 6,771.34.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 33.09 points, or 4.50 percent, at 702.00.

In the last half hour of regular trading, the S&P 500 hit an intraday low of 699.70 -- its lowest since October 1996.

* The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 52.54 points, or 3.81 percent, at 1,325.30.

Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal

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