Amid jittery investor sentiment about the global economy, there's now reason to worry about weakening U.S. growth as well after the January ISM manufacturing index surprisingly tumbled to an eight-month low, sparking stocks to their biggest selloff since June.
The Dow fell 326 points (2%), the S&P 500 plunged (-2.3%) through its 1,770 support level, the Nasdaq slid 2.6%, and the Russell 2000 plummeted 3.2%.
Growth concerns surrounding China arose again after the country's manufacturing PMI came in at a six-month low.
Financial stocks were hit hard (-2.5%) amid broad weakness, consumer discretionary tumbled again (-2%) to extend the sector's YTD decline to 12%, and automakers lagged after Ford and GM posted big declines in January sales.
The retreat sent the VIX to its highest level since June; over the past two weeks, the near-term volatility gauge has added more than 72%.
Treasury prices soared, sending yields to new three-month lows, with the 10-year yield sinking 7 bps to 2.58%; the dollar edged lower against other global currencies; gold added 1.6% to $1259.50/oz.