Stocks in the United States fell on Wednesday after another big fall in job numbers.
A report from ADP Employer Services said private employers shed a more-than-expected 693,000 jobs in December. The number was higher than expected and in addition to 476,000 jobs lost the previous month.
Further grim employment data for December is expected from the Labor Department on Friday.
In addition, Alcoa Inc said on Tuesday it plans to cut more than 15,000 jobs, reduce production and halve capital spending because of the recession.
Intel Corp also issued disappointing revenue outlook for the fourth quarter. The company previously issued a lower forecast in November, but now says it will not meet that either due to weakening demand for personal computers.
Intel is the world's biggest maker of the central processing units in every PC.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 244.68 points, or 2.71 percent, to 8,770.42.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 28.00 points, or 3 percent, to 906.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 53.32 points, or 3.23 percent, at 1,599.06.
Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange, where about 1.17 billion shares changed hands. About 2.03 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq.