Poor earnings and forecasts from major US industrial firms added to a global markets downturn to send US stocks plummeting Tuesday, with DuPont losing 9.1 percent on its earnings plunge.
Weak reports and guidance from DuPont, United Technologies, UPS, Xerox, Radio Shack and 3M reinforced views that the US corporate earnings boom is stalling, sending buyers toward the doors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 243.36 points (1.82 percent) to finish at 13,102.53.
The broad-based S&P 500 sank 20.71 (1.44 percent) to 1,413.11, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 26.49 (0.88 percent) at 2,990.46.
Dow member DuPont led the rout, its 98 percent fall in earnings and lowered 2012 outlook evidence of the slowing global economy. The company said it will cut around 1,500 jobs over the next 18 months.
Industrial and military equipment maker United Technologies fell almost 1.0 percent after reporting a 6.9 percent profit rise, helped by the acquisition of Goodrich Corp., but revenues came in well below expectations.
Chief executive Louis Chevenert warned of much uncertainty in the market, as the company cut its sales forecast for the year.
3M's (-4.1 percent) profits rose 6.7 percent, but it also lowered its full-year earnings estimate, citing the slowing world economy.
"The past 11 quarters provided a basis to believe companies would pleasantly surprise with their guidance. They are not," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com. "The vast majority of companies offering guidance are doing so with a negative bias, and that has become a sticking point."
Apple shed 3.3 percent, reversing its gains Monday, after revealing a new computer and tablet models including the new iPad mini, starting at $329.
Monster Beverage Corporation dived 10.2 percent amid reports it was being investigated over the death of five people allegedly after drinking the company's high-caffeine Monster Energy Drink.
Bucking the trend, Yahoo! jumped 5.7 percent on its strong earnings rise, driven by the sale of part of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Also gaining was handbag maker Coach, up 7.4 percent after reporting a nearly three percent jump in fiscal first quarter profits to $221 million, as the board authorized a $1.5 billion share buyback.
Bond prices rose sharply. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 1.76 percent from 1.81 percent late Monday, while the 30-year fell to 2.92 percent from 2.96 percent.
Bond prices move inversely to yields.