Shares are falling sharply on Wall Street, which caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop to 548 points at its lowest point and extended the recent series of market losses.
Markets plummeted on Tuesday morning due to disappointing forecasts from Caterpillar and 3M industrial controls that raised alarm over corporate growth and increased concerns ranging from China's slowdown to Saudi Arabia's diplomatic isolation.
The Dow fell to its lowest level since July, while the S & P 500 and the Nasdaq fell to the levels last seen in May, continuing a month of punishment for US stocks.
Stocks recovered in midday and afternoon trading, with the Dow trading 205 points at 1.30pm.
The merchant Gregory Rowe works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Stocks sharply opened lower on Wall Street after major declines in Asia and Europe
A five-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average is considered on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
The Nasdaq fell more than 10 percent below its closing high of August 29 and if the index closes at that level it would confirm a correction.
Caterpillar fell 7.9 percent after the heavy equipment maker maintained its earnings forecast for 2018, while 3M Co fell 6.9 percent after slashing its profit forecast for the full year due to the winds against the currency.
The forecasts of the two Dow Industrials rekindled concerns about the impact of rising borrowing, wage and tariff costs on corporate profits and caused S & P's industrial shares to fall 2.49 percent.
Along with concerns about earnings growth, concerns about events such as the upcoming mid-term elections in the United States and Italy's budget have also caused investors to exit the stock.
"We are in a risk environment right now." Markets are concerned about policy and profits, "said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.
"The results of Caterpillar and 3M are a further concern that business tensions are pushing corporate earnings and we may be seeing a peak in earnings growth."
Traders work on the NYSE floor at the start of the trading day on Tuesday
The battered technology sector fell 2.28 percent, in tandem with its global peers, on concerns of a slowdown in growth in China and ahead of key gains.
Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Intel, all with reports this week, fell between 1.7 percent and 3.4 percent. Apple fell 1.7 percent.
According to Refinitiv data, S & P 500 companies' earnings are expected to increase 22.1 percent in the third quarter, slower than in the two previous quarters. Growth is expected to slow to 19.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
At 11:10 am EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 368.34 points, or 1.45 percent, at 24,949.07, the S & P 500 was down 45.23 points, or 1.64 percent, at 2,710.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 151.30 points, or 2.03 Percent, to 7,317.33.
The CBOE volatility index, Wall Street's fear indicator, rose 3.0 points, its sharpest jump in almost two weeks.
The 11 major S & P sectors were in the red, with rates of defensive public services, real estate and consumer staples with the smallest losses.
Energy stocks fell 2.93 percent, the most among sectors, as oil prices fell after Saudi Arabia said it could supply more crude quickly if necessary.
Chip makers, which rely heavily on China for a significant portion of their revenues, led losses among technology stocks. All members of the Philadelphia semiconductor index were in the red, led by the 5.0 percent drop in Nvidia.
However, all the earnings reports for the day were not discouraging.
McDonald's rose 5.8 percent after having exceeded quarterly sales estimates in the same store as strong demand in international markets.
Verizon gained 3.6 percent to reach a maximum of 18-1 / 2 years after exceeding earnings estimates and new net phone subscribers.
The decreasing problems outperformed the promoters for a ratio of 5.49 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange and a ratio of 4.80 to 1 on the Nasdaq.
The S & P index recorded two new highs of 52 weeks and 86 new lows, while the Nasdaq posted two new highs and 344 new lows.