Stocks tumbled at midday as investors apparently worried about inflation in Asia and a possible bailout for Ireland.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 200, dipping below 11,000 for the first time in nearly a month.
Asian markets set off a global sell-off Tuesday as South Korea raised a key interest rate. There is speculation China will do the same in the coming days, which would dampen its demand for basic materials and cool its growth.
In Europe, finance ministers are meeting to decide whether Ireland needs a bailout similar to the one given to Greece.
The Dow is down 209 at midday, or 1.9 percent, at 10,993.
The S&P 500 index is down 23, or 1.9 percent, to 1,175, while the Nasdaq composite is down 51, or 2 percent, at 2,463.