A broad sell-off in U.S. markets Wednesday erased gains made in the previous session among blue-chip stocks.
After gaining 106.29 points Tuesday, the select Dow Jones industrial average lost 106.59 Wednesday, down 0.69 percent to 15,302.80.
Among the 30 Dow components, 16 advanced, led by Hewlett-Packard Co., which rose 2.39 percent, and JPMorgan Chase with a 1.75 percent gain.
On the low end, Coca-Cola Co. dropped 2.7 percent and Verizon Communications Inc. shed 2.46 percent.
Losses were widespread on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which dropped 11.70 points or 0.7 percent to 1,648.36. The technology-heavy Nasdaq index gave up 21.37 points, 0.61 percent, to 3,467.52.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 640 issues advanced and 2,465 declined on a volume of 3.5 billion shares traded.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 shifted lower, losing 134.84 points or 1.99 percent to 6,627.17.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 14.48 points or 0.1 percent to close at 14,326.46.
The 10-year treasury fell 2/32 to yield 2.119 percent.
Crude oil prices lost $2.12 to reach $92.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On currency markets, the euro rose to $1.2942 from Tuesday's $1.2855. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 101.10 yen from 102.36 yen.