The S&P 500 index fell 2.7 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 2.2 percent.
The previous worst Christmas Eve trading for the Dow and the S&P 500 took place in 1985, when both indexes fell by a little over 0.6 percent.
Monday’s dive comes on the heels of the Dow’s worst week of trading since October 2008. Last week, the index lost 1,655 points, or 6.8 percent.
The markets responded to the political turmoil in Washington, DC, according to media reports.
Earlier on Monday, US President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve as being the "only problem" for the US economy.
Prior to that, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week for the fourth time in 2018, a move that prompted immediate criticism from Trump.
The US president then shifted the discussion to whether Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell should be fired, according to media reports that were subsequently denied by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday.
Analysts attribute the stock market woes to growing concerns over US tariffs and the resulting trade war, as well as the third shutdown of the US federal government this year over a dispute in Congress over funding to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. A partial shutdown began at midnight on Friday and is expected to last into the new year.