Nervous traders darted out of equities and flocked into safe-haven assets on heightened euro zone sovereign debt and global economic tensions, launching the markets deep into negative territory.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 420 points, or 3.7%, to 10,991, the S&P 500 slid 53.2 points, or 4.5%, to 1,141 and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 131 points, or 5.2%, to 2,380. The FOX 50 plunged 32.7 points to 828.
Energy and materials stocks like Halliburton (HAL: 40.85, -4.60, -10.12%) and U.S. Steel (X: 27.28, -2.81, -9.34%) took the strongest beating. However, the selloff was broad, with industrials such as General Electric (GE: 15.34, -0.89, -5.48%) and most other sectors coming under intense selling pressure as well.