Early stock losses gained downward momentum Wednesday on weak economic data from Britain and Washington.
The Office of National Statistics in London said the gross domestic product in Britain fell 0.3 percent from the third quarter to the fourth. The figure failed to meet expectations, as economists expected a 0.2 percent drop.
In Washington, the Department of Commerce said durable goods orders rose 2.2 percent to $211.8 billion in February. The gain did not match the 3 percent rise of the consensus forecast.
Following Tuesday's news that home prices fell for the ninth consecutive month in January, the new data shook the recent confidence that had been settling over Wall Street due to employment gains.
In early-afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gave up 99.37 points, or 0.75 percent, to 13,098.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 11.24 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,401.28. The Nasdaq composite index lost 23.32 points, or 0.75 percent, to 3,097.03.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note lost 1/32 to yield 2.189 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3315 from Tuesday's $1.3317. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 82.78 yen from Tuesday's 83.17 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 0.71 percent, 72.58, to 10,182.57.
In London, the FTSE 100 index shed 1.03 percent, 60.56, to 5,808.99.