After three days of bad news about Europe's debt crisis sent Asian and European markets down Monday, it was Wall Street's turn.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as many as 180 points before paring back some of its losses. Another steep downgrade of Greece's credit rating, a warning on Italy's debt and a major defeat of Spain's ruling party caused new worries about Europe's debt crisis.
That sent the euro lower against the dollar. A stronger dollar makes it more expensive for other countries to buy U.S. exports, hurting U.S. companies that sell goods abroad. Fears that Europe's debt troubles could escalate, as they did last year when Greece melted down, sent stocks around the world tumbling.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 130.78 points, or 1 percent, to 12,381.26.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 15.90, or 1.2 percent, to 1,317.37.
The Nasdaq composite dropped 44.42, or 1.6 percent, to 2,758.90.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 803.75, or 6.9 percent.
The S&P is up 59.73, or 4.7 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 106.03, or 4 percent.