The Nasdaq extended losses and was briefly down more than 3 percent in late morning trading on Wednesday, with an index of semiconductors <.SOX> falling 4.5 percent and shares of Cree Inc tumbling 12.8 percent after a disappointing revenue forecast.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 227.50 points, or 2.14 percent, at 10,416.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 28.59 points, or 2.55 percent, at 1,092.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 66.28 points, or 2.91 percent, at 2,210.89.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch)