In early afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 125.25 points or 0.98 percent to 12,695.35.
The Nasdaq composite index gave up 31.24 points or 1.06 percent to 2,902.58.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 15.04 points or 1.11 percent to 1,338.35.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 481 stocks advanced and 2,608 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note gained 19/32 to yield 1.781 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2836 from Friday's $1.2917. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 79.86 yen from 79.94 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.23 percent, 20.53, to 8,973.84.
In London, the FTSE 100 index lost 1.97 percent, 110 points, to 5,465.52.
Election results have undermined years of work turning much of Europe toward financial discipline as the primary focus of economic strategies.
With several countries already suffering from prolonged recessions, voters are turning out advocates of austerity budgets in favor of politicians who pledge to put job creation in front of debt reduction.
But the debt crisis still looms large. Late last week, Spain ordered its banks to raise $39 billion to cushion themselves against further losses.