The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both closed at record highs Thursday. Since then, they closed slightly lower Friday and took a plunge Monday.
On Tuesday they recovered more than half of Monday's losses. But those gains disappeared Wednesday as corporate reports from Bank of America and Intel fell short of expectations, although Intel's miss was slight and its stock recovered by the close of trading. Intel was up 0.1 percent on the day.
Bank of America dropped 4.7 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co., lost 3.51 percent and Hewlett-Packard Co. fell 2.57 percent.
They were not alone. On the DJIA, 26 of 30 companies slipped.
The DJIA closed off 138.19 points or 0.94 percent to 14,618.59. The S&P 500 shed 22.56 points or 1.43 percent to 1,552.01. The Nasdaq index of tech-dominated stock lost 59.96 points or 1.84 percent to 3,204.67.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 678 stocks advanced and 2,395 declined on a volume of 4.2 billion shares traded.
Gold dropped $9.80 Wednesday to $1,377.40 per troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. NYMEX West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at $86.42 per barrel, down $2.30.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note rose 7/32 to yield 1.702 percent.
Against the dollar, the euro was lower at $1.3034 from Tuesday's $1.3177. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 98.22 yen from 97.55 yen.
The dollar index, a prorated measure of the dollar against six major currencies, rose 1 percent to 82.65 on the International Exchange.
Markets were mixed in Asia and down in Europe. The Nikkei 225 in Japan added 1.22 percent or 161.45 points to 13,382.89. The FTSE 100 index in Britain dropped 0.96 percent or 60.37 points to 6,244.21.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for May delivery shed 4.5 cents to $6.59 per bushel. May soybeans gained 9.25 cents to $14.21 and wheat gave up 0.25 cents to $7.0725.