Stocks plunged Tuesday, continuing a rocky ride for Wall Street, after gloomy economic data out of China rekindled fears that the world's second-largest economy is slowing more than previously anticipated.
Tuesday's sell-off adds to what has been a difficult few weeks for U.S. and international markets. U.S. stocks are coming off their worst month in more than three years. It also dashed hopes that, after some relatively calm trading on Friday and Monday, the stock market's wild swings were coming to an end.
"Monday's relatively peaceful markets are a distant memory as Chinese data and shares sparked another severe overnight reaction from the developed world," said John Briggs, head of fixed income strategy at RBS.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 470 points, or 2.8 percent, to 16,058. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 58 points, or 3 percent, to 1,914 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 140 points, or 2.9 percent, to 4,636.
As it's been for the last several weeks, the selling and problems started in Asia.
An official index of Chinese manufacturing fell to a three-year low last month, another sign of slowing growth in that country. The manufacturing index, which surveys purchasing managers at factories, dropped to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.
China's stocks sank on the news, with Shanghai Composite Index closing down 1.2 percent. The index has plunged 34 percent in the last three months.