US stocks fell on Tuesday as profit warnings prompted investors to retrench after two days of big gains.
Transportation stocks led the pullback, with express shipper FedEx tumbling 14.5% after saying its 2009 profit would fall shy of estimates due to the global slowdown.
Markets were also rattled by an extraordinary sale of US Treasury bills, widely viewed as the world's safest securities, producing an unprecedented 0% rate.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 242.85 points, or 2.72%, to 8,691.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gave up 21.03 points, or 2.31%, at 888.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 24.40 points, or 1.55%, at 1,547.34.
Trading was choppy after shares jumped Monday to a onr month high, and analysts said profit-taking contributed to the negative tone. The Nasdaq gained more than 1% at one point before succumbing as losses mounted.