A drop in the euro set off a late-day slide in stocks Wednesday and sent the Dow Jones industrial average to its first close below 10,000 in nearly four months.
The Dow, up 135 points in afternoon trading, ended down about 69. It was the eighth drop for the Dow in 10 days. Wednesday's trading extended the streak of volatility the market has suffered since major indexes hit their highs for the year in late April.
Stocks' reversal underscored how jittery traders are about Europe. They are worried that heavy debt loads and rounds of cost-cutting will hamper a recovery of the global economy.
The euro, which is used by 16 European countries, pulled major stock indexes lower after it began to slide. The currency has become a symbol of investor confidence in Europe's ability to contain its debt problems. The euro remains close to the four-year low it hit last week. It fell to $1.2179 Wednesday.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 69.30, or 0.7 percent, to 9,974.45. It was the first close below 10,000 since Feb. 10 when the Dow finished at 9,908.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6.08, or 0.6 percent, to 1,067.95. The Nasdaq composite index closed down 15.07, or 0.7 percent, to 2,195.88.
About two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.9 billion shares, in line with Tuesday.
Treasury prices pared an early slide as investors late in the day went back in search of safe investments.
The stock slump at day's end was the opposite of Tuesday, when traders chipped away at a steep slide by the close and the major indexes ended little changed.