U.S. markets opened sharply lower Wednesday, following losses in Asia and Europe.
The European Commission issued a report that spelled out the continent's fiscal troubles country by country. There was little new in the report, but investors took heed of a renewed call for Spain to recapitalize banks. The report also made recommendations for relatively strong countries, like Germany and France, warning of a "spillover" effect from weaker economies.
In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average gave up 152.50 points, or 1.21 percent, to 12,434.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 17.18 points, or 1.29 percent, to 1,315.24. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 37.32 points, 1.3 percent to 2,833.67.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note rose 32/32 to yield 1.642 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2414 from Tuesday's $1.2503. Against the yen, the dollar hit 78.90 from 79.50 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.28 percent, 23.89 points, to 8,633.76.