Stocks tumbled in early trading Thursday as the troubles of a leading Portuguese bank renewed concerns about the European banking sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 150 points, or nearly 1%. The
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down even more, about 65 points or close to 1.5%.
Declines in U.S. stock markets followed drops in exchanges across Europe amid concerns about Banco Espirito Santo, one of Portugal's largest banks.
Its shares fell about 17% Thursday after reports that its parent company missed some payments on commercial paper.
European banks have been struggling to recover from the global financial crisis, which triggered sovereign debt problems and a double-dip recession in that region.
Investors are worried that Banco Espirito Santo's troubles could be a sign of problems at other European banks.
The sell-off came after the Dow reached the 17,000 milestone for the first time Thursday on upbeat U.S. jobs data.
The average started this week with two days of losses before rebounding Wednesday.