Stocks fell on Wednesday as traders jumped to sell in a hair-trigger reaction to reports underscoring that Europe remains far from a solution to its debt crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 71.90 points, or 0.62 percent, to 11,505.15. The S&P 500 .SPX fell 15.42 points, or 1.26 percent, to 1,209.96. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC lost 53.39 points, or 2.01 percent, to 2,604.04.