Wall Street marks worst day since August on Libyan unrest
Wall Street suffered its worst day since August as investors dumped stocks on turmoil in oil exporter Libya, in what could be the start of a long-anticipated pullback after a lengthy rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 178.46 points, or 1.44 percent, to 12,212.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 27.57 points, or 2.05 percent, to 1,315.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 77.53 points, or 2.74 percent, to 2,756.42.
European shares fell, extending the previous session's hefty selloff on escalating tensions in oil producer Libya, which drove crude prices higher and prompted concerns over the impact on global growth.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares ended 0.6 percent lower at 1,164.60 points, its lowest close since Feb. 3.
Japan's Nikkei average tumbled, slipping from 9-1/2-month highs for its first decline in seven days in profit-taking triggered by turmoil in the Middle East that could have a medium-term effect on Japanese stocks.
The Nikkei ended down 1.8 percent or 192.83 points at 10,664.70. It fell as low as 10,639.78, the lowest level in almost two weeks.