The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped by more than 500 points, or 2%, while the price of Brent crude tumbled by as much as 7% to less than $62 a barrel – its lowest level in nearly a year.
Tuesday’s fall for the Dow Jones added to a 400-point decline on Monday, centred on leading tech stocks, after a report that Apple had cut production on iPhone models launched in September.
Monday’s sell-off had seen more than $130bn in market value wiped off the so-called FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google owner Alphabet.
On Tuesday, tech stocks were again in the firing line with Apple down by another 5% and Microsoft off by 3%.
But the declines also extended to US retailers such as Target and Kohl’s after they delivered disappointing updates while there was a 1% fall for Boeing as it cancelled a conference call to discuss systems on the 737 MAX model that crashed in Indonesia last month.
The sell-off marks the latest period of volatility for the New York market and Tuesday’s trading saw the Dow fall back below its level at the start of 2018.
Analysts pointed to broad concerns about rising US interest rates, the trade war between the US and China and the oil sell-off, amid worries about slowing global growth.
In London, the FTSE 100 closed nearly 1% lower on Tuesday while stock indices in France and Germany also saw significant falls.
Michael Antonelli, managing director for institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird said: “It’s a growth-related sell-off. It’s not a specific name.
“People think growth has peaked and earnings have peaked.
“Some of the big retailers are now cracking and that’s just adding fuel to the fire.”
US investors have become jittery in recent weeks, threatening a decade-long bull-run led by the FAANG stocks that has propelled some of them to spectacular valuations – with Apple topping $1tn over the summer.