Fear that Europe's debt crisis is infecting Germany, the strongest economy in the region, sent stocks reeling Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 236 points, leaving it down 4.6 percent over the past three days. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell for the sixth day in a row, its worst losing streak since August.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 236.17 points, or 2.1 percent, to close at 11,257.55.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 26.3 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 1,161.79.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 61.20 points, or 2.4 percent, 2,460.08.
For the week to date:
The Dow is down 538.61, or 4.6 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 53.86, or 4.4 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 112.42, or 4.4 percent.
For the year to date:
The Dow is down 319.96, or 2.8 percent.
The S&P 500 is down 95.85, or 7.6 percent.
The Nasdaq is down 192.79, or 7.8 percent.