U.S. stocks extended losses on Thursday afternoon, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell more than 3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slid 247.43 points, or 2.28 percent, at 10,620.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 31.37 points, or 2.69 percent, at 1,134.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 76.13 points, or 3.17 percent, at 2,326.16.

The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX>, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, rose 27.2 percent to $31.68, the highest since November 2009.

Major indexes have been in the red throughout the session after the European Central Bank failed to take fresh measures to help stem the Greek debt crisis, cutting deeper into the appetite for risk and putting weak U.S. retail sales into sharper relief.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe.)