Stocks have their worst day in months; Dow drops 800-plus points

The Dow tumbles more than 400 points

Dow Industrial Average Futures were down by about 300 points, or 1.2 percent, in pre-market trading, implying a sharply lower opening on Thursday after falling more than 3 percent on Wednesday.

Augustine added that with earnings due out from big banks JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) on Friday morning, investors will look for new market sectors to take the lead from tech stocks.

The 10-year Treasury yield remained at 3.20 percent, about where it was late Tuesday, after earlier touching 3.24 percent.

The S&P 500 lost 94 points, or 3.3 per cent, to 2,785. The Nasdaq composite skidded 92.99 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,329.06.

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's "fear gauge", rose 3.18 points to its highest since June 25. Companies that have been the biggest winners on the market the last few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines.

Although that's largely because the USA economy is so strong, the spike in rates for the benchmark U.S. 10-Year Treasury has investors wondering if the near-decade-old bull market may finally be ending.

It followed a bleak session in Europe, where Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 had each ended the day more than 2% lower. The two-year yield rose to 2.88 percent from 2.87 percent, and the 30-year yield climbed to 3.38 percent from 3.37 percent.

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Investors are wary of possible further US interest rate hikes.

Shares in upscale jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co and perfume maker Estee Lauder both fell 7 percent after a warning from French luxury goods firm LVMH about softening demand in China. Higher rates can slow economic growth, erode corporate profits and make investors less willing to pay high prices for stocks.

Bond prices rose as the recent surge in yields attracted the attention of some investors. In 1987, stocks dropped more than 20 percent on a single day-Black Monday, Oct. 19-after a strong rally crashed into the Persian Gulf turmoil and trade deficits. The index has declined 6.7 percent during its current losing streak.

"There isn't much of a place to hide right now in the equity market", said Willie Delwiche, an investment strategist at Baird. United States gold futures settled up $1.9, or 0.16 percent, at $1,193.4.

Apple gave up 4.6 percent to $216.36 and Microsoft dropped 5.4 percent to $106.16. Silver dipped 0.5 per cent to $14.33 an ounce. These sectors had been some of the top performers over the a year ago, almost doubling the performance of the S&P 500.

The dollar fell to 111.94 yen from 112.59 yen, and the euro rose to $1.1594 from $1.1525.

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