"There's more sellers than buyers", explained CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger. The stock has plunged 51 percent since November 8 as investors try to assess the damages the company might have to pay if it's held liable for the blaze. The news spooked investors and, combined with disappointing earnings from Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands and Kohl's, provoked worry just ahead of Black Friday.
The disagreements between the US and China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting left investors feeling pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would end the trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.
The price of crude oil fell 1.7 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.8% to 2,641.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.7% to 6,908.82. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was 0.4 percent lower at 5,671.80 and India's Sensex declined 0.6 percent to 35,559.08.
At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average, which was down nearly 600 points at its low, was 552 points lower at 24,466 and trading 1 percent below where it finished in 2017. It was down 648 earlier.
The technology-dominated Nasdaq, which had fallen close to 3 percent earlier and briefly into the red for the year, fell 1.7 percent, extending its losses from its late August high to almost 15 percent.
The selling was widespread.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 13 cents to $57.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The slide weighed down tech stocks in general, which have been tumbling over the past month.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.08 percent.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks retreated 27.53 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,469.01.
The oil prices plummeted on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed Saudi Arabia as "a great ally" and signaled it won't punish Saudi crown prince over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing. The benchmark index is 9.2 percent below its September peak. Its shares fell 4%.
Wholesale gasoline added 0.4 percent to $1.58 a gallon.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 421 points, or 1.7 percent, to 24,598.
Faced with these challenges, investors have lately turned to safer bets such as utilities, real estate companies, and makers of household goods. Target plunged after reporting earnings that missed Wall Street's estimates due to higher expenses.
United States. -traded shares of Nissan lost 5.8 percent to $16.90.
While the S&P 500 is only halfway to a bear market drop of 20 percent, Michael Wilson, chief USA equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, told clients in a report this week that he believes Wall Street is already in a bear market.