US Shares Tumble Amid Weak Corporate Results
US stocks have tumbled about 2%, in a major sell-off following lacklustre US corporate earnings.
The approaching end of the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus, weak eurozone data and the Argentine debt default were also blamed for the slump.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 317.06 points (1.88%) to 16,563.30, erasing all its gains this year.
The S&P 500 sank 39.40 (2.00%) to 1,930.67, a seven-week low.
The Nasdaq, meanwhile, plummeted 93.13 (2.09%) to 4,369.77.
The rout followed anaemic earnings from companies such as Whole Foods Market, Kraft Foods, Nike, ExxonMobil and Chevron.
Shares in tech giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google also took a hit.
The CBOE Volatility index, sometimes referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, jumped 27.2% to close at 16.95, its highest level since April 11.
European stock exchanges fell earlier on Thursday after eurozone data renewed deflation fears.