A glance at market results showed only one major market around the globe posting gains. The NZX 50 in New Zealand was up 0.21 percent.
The downturn was started by election results in France and Greece during the weekend, but especially in Greece where parties that gained power have pledged to break the terms of international rescue loans, which could force the country out of the 17-nation eurozone.
By close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average, which slipped 76 points Tuesday, had shed another 97.03 points or 0.75 percent to 12,835.06. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gave up 11.56 points or 0.39 percent to 2,934.71 after losing 11.5 points a day earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, which lost nearly 6 points Tuesday, gave up 9.14 points or 0.67 percent to 1,354.58.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 975 stocks advanced and 2,067 declined on a volume of 4.1 billion traded.
The 10-year benchmark treasury note was unchanged, yielding 1.828 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2934 from Tuesday's $1.3007. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.64 yen from 79.87 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.49 percent, 136.59, to 9,045.06.
In London, the FTSE 100 index shed 0.44 percent, 24.50, to 5,530.05.