U.S. stocks finished Tuesday with the worst one-day decline yet this year as a sell-off spread from Europe, driven by fear of a disorderly default in Greece and a slowdown in global economic growth. The market's anxiety gauge, the CBOE Market Volatility Index, climbed briefly above its 50-day moving average for the first time since November.
A plan presented by the Institute of International Finance, which represents Greece's creditors, warned of dangerous consequences from a disorderly Greek default. Private investors have until Thursday to accept a bond swap in which they would lose 53.5 percent of the value of their bonds. Six euro zone countries have already slipped into recession, with another four -- including Spain and all-important Germany -- teetering on the brink.
The slowdown is also hitting major emerging markets. China recently cut its growth target to 7.5 percent from the longstanding 8 percent. The GDP of Brazil, Latin America's biggest growth engine, expanded 2.7 percent in 2011, about a third of the rate of 2010 and the lowest since 2003.
Here's a look at how the markets played out:
Stocks. Global equities tumbled. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which suffered its last triple-digit-decline in late December, was off 203.89 points to 12,758.92. All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 were lower, with financial and industrial stocks leading the declines. European markets suffered their worst losses in more than three months. Asian bourses tanked for a second straight session.
Bonds. Fear spurred safe-haven bids. U.S. Treasury prices jumped the most in three weeks. Yields on 10-year notes fell to 1.95 percent. Yields on 30-year notes declined 7 basis points to 3.08 percent.
Commodities. Declines were broad-based. Oil fell nearly 2 percent to below $105 a barrel. Gold, silver and industrial metals all finished lower. Prices for wheat, corn also fell, while soybeans ended up less than 1 percent.
Currencies. The dollar hit a three-week high as investors lost risk appetite. The greenback rose against the euro, which along with other assets are viewed as risky. Brazil's real closed sharply weaker and India's rupee hit a six-week low.