Stocks fell about 1 percent on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a sixth straight losing session as the euro zone crisis and weak Chinese data weighed on sentiment.
The latest U.S. data showed an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims, while durable goods orders fell less than expected, but Wall Street had little reaction. Debt problems in Europe and the United States have pressured markets, with the S&P falling more than 5 percent over the last five sessions.
World stocks hit their lowest in six weeks Wednesday as weak demand in a German bond auction heightened fears the euro zone crisis would worsen. Banks have been among the worst performers as any exposure to European debt could erode profits.
Data showed Chinese manufacturing shrank the most in 32 months in November, intensified concerns about a global economic slowdown. U.S. crude oil fell 2.6 percent on fears of reduced demand from the world's No. 2 economy.
New U.S. jobless claims rose slightly last week but held below 400,000 for the third straight week, and consumer spending barely increased in October. Also durable goods orders rose, but details of the report were generally weak.
Data is weak around the world, and there's a lot of bad news out there, said Uri Landesman, president at Platinum Partners in New York. If the slowdown in China were to become a sustained problem, we would expect commodities to fare poorly.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slid 139.03 points, or 1.21 percent, at 11,354.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 16.88 points, or 1.42 percent, at 1,171.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 35.73 points, or 1.42 percent, at 2,485.55.
All ten S&P sectors were negative, with financials and energy the biggest losers. Energy shares <.GSPE> fell 1.9 percent while financials <.GSPF> lost 2.1 percent.
Trading volume is expected to be low on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, when markets are closed. That could amplify turbulence, which remains tied to Europe's volatility.
Deere & Co
The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to run stress tests on six large U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp
U.S. consumer sentiment held up in late November as some of the gloom over the economy ebbed, a report showed. Stocks barely budged after the numbers.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)