NEW YORK, New York - An unexpected slide in U.S. consumer confidence caught investors offside on Tuesday, pushing all the major indices on Wall Street sharply lower.
Aided by major falls on overseas markets, and sharply rising Treasury yields, losses by the end of Tuesday were substantial.
Correspondingly, the U.S. dollar moved higher, and is now fast approaching an 11-month high.
"But given that wave seems to be cresting, there's hope confidence just hit its nadir," Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia told Reuters news agency Tuesday.
"Assuming predictions of Delta dropping hold true, this setback may be a three-month trough during the recovery rally."
The biggest damage was in the technology sector. The Nasdaq Composite shed 423.29 points or 2.83 percent to 14,546.68.
The Dow Jones industrials got scalped 569.38 points or 1.63 percent, to close Tuesday at 34,299.99.
The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 90.48 points or 2.04 percent to 4,352.63.
The U.S. dollar rallied, sending the British pound tumbling to 1.3535. The Japanese yen was sold of to 111.53. The Swiss franc buckled to 0.9296. The euro fell to 1.1675.
The Canadian dollar was lower at 1.2681. The Australian dollar was unwanted at 0.7239. The New Zealand dollar was friendless at 0.6955.
In London, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.50 percent. The falls in Europe however were much more substantial. The Germann Dax shed 2.09 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 did worse, diving 2.17 percent.
On Asian markets, the Australian All Ordinaries shed 102.40 points or 1.33 percent to 7,588.30, Business Sun reported.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 56.10 points or 0.19 percent to 30,183.96.
China's Shanghai Composite declined 19.39 points or 0.54 percent to 3,602.22.
Going against the trend, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 291.61 points or 1.20 percent to 24,500.39.