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Byline: Aldo Svaldi
Mar. 23--The Dow Jones industrial average danced with a bear market for most of the day Thursday, but managed to escape its embrace when the closing bell rang.
The index of blue-chip companies dipped more than 380 points under heavy selling before starting to crawl back late in the day to a 97.52 point decline. The Dow ended down 1.03 percent at 9,389.48, just 11 points shy of a true bear market, which is defined as a 20 percent decline from a high.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed down 4.56 points at 1,117.58. The Nasdaq composite index, in one of the brighter spots during a bleak week, rose 67.47 points to 1,897.70, a 3.7 …