U.S. stocks could not hold onto Monday's attempted comeback, tumbling 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 2.78 percent. In Italy, the FTSE MIB index fell 2.37 percent. The DAX index in Germany lost 1.9 percent.
On Wall Street in early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 143.61 points or 1.1 percent to 12,864.92. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 34.67 points or 1.17 percent, to 2,923.09. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 14.99 points, or 1.09 percent, to 1,354.59.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note rose 12/32 to yield 1.838 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3022 from Monday's $1.3051. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.82 yen from 79.89 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 0.69 percent, 62.51, to 9,181.65.
In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.78 percent, 100.51, to 5,554.55.