U.S. stocks could not hold onto Monday's attempted comeback, tumbling early on Wall Street dragged down by a nearly global rout.
Stocks fell Monday in response to government overturns in France and Greece during the weekend, with voters turning out advocates of strong austerity budget strategies.
Early falls were checked on Wall Street in Monday afternoon trading. On Tuesday, that small comeback gave up the ghost.
Stocks were mixed in Asia, but hard hit in most of Europe. The CAC 40 index in France was down 2 percent. In Italy, the FTSE MIB index fell 1.6 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 142.21 points or 1.09 percent to 13,866.32. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 45.59 points or 1.54 percent, to 2,912.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 16.62 points, or 1.21 percent, to 1,352.96.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note rose 11/32 to yield 1.842 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2987 from Monday's $1.3051. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.77 yen from 79.89 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 0.69 percent, 62.51, to 9,181.65.