The Dow dropped 343.79 points, or 1.27% to 26,573.04. The S&P 500 slid 1.23% to close at 2.940.25. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.13% to 7,908.68 The sharp decline came after disappointing manufacturing data spooked investors.
Stocks fell after the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity fell last month to its lowest level in a decade as the U.S.-China trade worries drag on. The ISM report follows the release of weak manufacturing data from Europe. The disappointing numbers led investors to sell equities in favor of U.S. bonds. President Donald Trump quickly pointed the finger at the Federal Reserve for the weakness in manufacturing, saying in a tweet rates are too high and the dollar is too strong.
Investors came into Tuesday's session, the first of the fourth quarter, amid improved sentiment around U.S.-China trade relations. However, the market is interpreting the ISM report as a sign the trade war is taking an increasing toll on the economy, sending jitters through Wall Street.
Manufacturing stocks Honeywell and 3M rolled over following the ISM report's release, closing down by 2.9% and 3.6%, respectively. Separately, shares of online brokerages dropped after Charles Schwab said it will eliminate commissions on stock trades. Schwab dropped 4% while TD Ameritrade plunged 26%. E-Trade also slid 16%.
Wall Street's focus will remain on the economic data as ADP and Moody's Analytics are scheduled to release their monthly private payrolls report at 8:15 a.m. ET. That data is seen by investors as a preview to the government's monthly jobs report, which is set for release Friday. Read more here.