Stocks in the United States fell on Wednesday after a gloomy retail sales report caused a broad sell-off that accelerated late in the session.
Sales at retailers fell for a second consecutive month in April.
Investors sold shares across the board. Shares of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, fell 1.2% to $US50.03, while Target lost 4.8% to $US40.47.
Macy's fell 6.7% to $US11.52 and Liz Claiborne was down 26.2% to $US4.26.
Big manufacturers were also down: 3M Co was down 4.4% at $US56.94 and United Technologies Corp was down 3.5% at $US50.61.
Shares of AMD rose 0.7% to $US4.38 after EU regulators fined Intel Corp for antitrust violations and ordered it to halt illegal practices to squeeze out its rival. Intel eased 0.5% to $US15.13.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 184.22 points, or 2.18%, to 8,284.89.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 24.43 points, or 2.69%, to 883.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 51.73 points, or 3.01%, to 1,664.19.
Trading was active on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.77 billion shares changing hands - above last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion.
About 2.37 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq, above last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.