A warning from Fitch Ratings that large U.S. banks could be hit hard if Europe's debt crisis spreads sent stocks on a downward spiral late Wednesday.
U.S. indexes were moving between small gains and losses before Fitch released its report around 3:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow was down just 36 points with an hour of trading left, then plunged to end the day down 190. Large banks took a dive. Goldman Sachs dropped 4.1 percent and Morgan Stanley 7.9 percent.
Fitch, one of the three main credit ratings agencies besides S&P and Moody's, said in its report that U.S. banks could be "greatly affected" if Europe's debt crisis continues to spread beyond the financially distressed countries of like Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 190.57, or 1.6 percent, to 11,905.59.
The S&P 500 index fell 20.89, or 1.7 percent, to 1,236.92.
The Nasdaq composite fell 46.59, or 1.7 percent, to 2,639.61.
For the week:
The Dow is down 248.09, or 2 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 26.93, or 2.1 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 39.14, or 1.5 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 328.08, or 2.8 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 20.72, or 1.6 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 13.26, or 0.5 percent.