Wall Street stocks finished sharply lower Tuesday following a disappointing stream of corporate earnings and mixed US economic data.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,391.29, down 287.41 points (1.63 percent). The Dow had fallen nearly 400 points earlier in the session.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 27.21 (1.32 percent) to 2,029.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 89.80 (1.88 percent) to 4,681.96
Dow component Caterpillar sank 7.2 percent as earnings suffered due to weakness in the oil sector, while Microsoft slumped 9.2 percent on a disappointing outlook. Other big companies also dropped following poor results.
"I think what we're seeing is concern on both the economics and earnings front," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Capital IQ.
Investors were troubled by a 3.4 percent drop in US durable goods orders in December, which offset a Conference Board report that said US consumer confidence jumped in January to its highest level in more than seven years.