Wall Street indexes continued their slide in yesterday's volatile session as investors worried about rising interest rates and braced for a trade war hit to corporate earnings a day ahead of the quarterly reporting season kickoff.
In its sixth consecutive day of declines, the S&P closed down 2.1%after shedding 3% in Wednesday's session.
But at its session low, the benchmark fell 2.7% to its lowest level since early July.
The Nasdaq narrowly avoided confirming a correction. During the session it fell as much as 10.3% from its August 29 closing record high but ended the day 9.6% below the record.
Investors worried that equity markets would have trouble recovering as rising interest rates coincide with uncertainty about how much earnings growth would be hurt by a US trade war with China.
The Dow Jones fell 546 points (2.1%) to 25,053, the S&P 500 lost 57 points (2%) to end at 2,728 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 93 points (1.25%) to finish at 7,329.
After hitting an intraday high of 28.84, the CBOE Volatility Index, popularly known as the "fear gauge," ended the day up 2 points at 24.98, its highest close since February 12.
The energy sector, pressured by a drop in oil prices, was the lead decliner, while insurers were some of the biggest losers in the financial sector a day after powerful Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida.
The financial sector fell 2.9%, also hurt by a 2.7% drop in bank stocks a day before three of the biggest banks were to report quarterly results - Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.