Stock markets in the U.S., Japan and Europe appear to have joined emerging markets in the doldrums, but is the sharp selloff just a rumble or is a deeper rout on its way?
The consensus so far is this: Equities could fall further especially if economic data disappoints, but until that happens the big picture of a brighter growth outlook has not changed so don't panic just yet.
(Read more: Markets fear US chilled by more than weather)
"The interesting thing is how much movement there has been on so little information," said California-based John Rutledge, chief investment strategist at private investment firm Safanad. "We've had a weak U.S. ISM number and China PMI which registered just a small fall, so that would suggest this (selloff) is a correction," he said referring to recent data showing slowing factory activity in China.
"The one thing that is different this time around is that the U.S., Japan, and Europe are growing and that means higher interest rates, so people who had exposure to emerging markets when rates were low are closing out of those positions," he added.
Japan's Nikkei stock index fell 3 percent on Tuesday to its lowest level in almost three months following a sharp fall in U.S. stocks. weak economic data sparked fears of a slowing U.S. economy. U.S. stocks saw their worst start to February since 1933 as overall U.S. factory activity hit an eight-month low in January.
The Nikkei, is now in correction territory with a fall of more than 10 percent from a six-year high of 16,320 points hit in late December. European equities were also lower on Tuesday.
(Read more: How bad will the Nikkei meltdown get?)