(CNBC) U.S. stocks declined sharply on Wednesday, with the fourth quarter starting off on a dour note after the S&P 500's seventh quarterly gain, as investors fretted global concerns, mixed U.S. economic data and earnings ahead.
Investors sought safety in U.S. Treasury bonds and gold, and the CBOE Volatility Index, one measure of investor uncertainty, jumped 6.9 percent. The Russell 2000 fell into correction territory, down 10 percent from its July record.
"In the here and now, there are too many global-macro concerns for investors to have confidence," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, listing worries about ISIS, Ukraine and Russia, the slowdown in China "and Ebola, which is causing things like airline stocks to go down."
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