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US stocks fell sharply in highly volatile trade Wednesday, with the Dow posting its first three-day losing streak this year amid worries about central banks' stimulus plans.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 126.79 (0.84 percent) at 14,995.23.
The broad-based S&P 500 slid 13.61 (0.84 percent) to 1,612.52, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 36.52 (1.06 percent) at 3,400.43.
Wall Street stocks attempted to rally from Tuesday's sell-off in opening trade but quickly lost steam.
"Volatility is persisting, especially in the currency and bond markets, due to uncertainty regarding the continuation of global central bank stimulus efforts," Charles Schwab & Co. said in a note.
Briefing.com pointed out that the CBOE Volatility Index rose to 18.59, hitting its second-highest level of the year.
Financials were under pressure. On the Dow, American Express was the biggest decliner, plunging 2.4 percent, while Bank of America fell 0.5 percent and JPMorgan Chase lost 0.6 percent. Citigroup dropped 1.0 percent.
Cooper Tire & Rubber roared 41.1 percent higher to $34.66 after agreeing to be bought by India's Apollo Tyres for $35 a share. The $2.5 billion all-cash deal will create the world's seventh-largest tire maker.
Gigamon leaped 49.8 percent to $28.47 as the network data traffic technology company made a sizzling market debut. The initial public offering shares were priced at $19.
Yum! Brands slipped 0.1 percent after reporting May same-store sales plummeted 19 percent in China as concerns about avian flu hammered Kentucky Fried Chicken sales.
Dow member Pfizer closed flat after it and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda won a $2.15 billion settlement in a patent-infringement case against generic drug makers Teva of Israel and Sun of India. Pfizer said it would receive 64 percent of the amount, or $1.4 billion. Teva's US-traded shares fell 1.9 percent.
Hewlett-Packard was the biggest of the rare Dow gainers, up 2.8 percent after chief executive Meg Whitman gave a positive interview to CNBC.
Tobacco giant Altria added 0.3 percent after Barclays raised its rating to "overweight" from "market weight."
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.23 percent from 2.20 percent late Tuesday, while the 30-year jumped to 3.38 percent from 3.33 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.