Stock indexes briefly fell around 1 percent on Wednesday as policymakers warned Europe's debt crisis posed dangers to the global economy and on growing signs the contagion was starting to spread to larger European nations.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 115.45 points, or 0.95 percent, to 11,980.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 11.06 points, or 0.88 percent, to 1,246.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 19.73 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2,666.47.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)