The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 1,100 points Monday. It was the worst loss for the financial markets in six and a half years.
After two days of losses, the market's gains from the start of 2018 have been erased.
Banks fared the worst as interest and bond rates fell.
At its lowest, the Dow was down by 1,597 points from Friday's ending bell.
Financial analysts have been predicting the market would adjust for some time, saying that declines of 10 percent or more are common during bull markets. A drop of 10 percent from a peak is referred to on Wall Street as a "correction."
"It's like a kid at a child's party who, after an afternoon of cake and ice cream, eats one more cookie and that puts them over the edge," David Kelly, the chief global strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management told the Associated Press.
Kelly said the signs of inflation and rising rates are not as bad as they looked, but after the market's big gains in 2017 and early 2018, stocks were overdue for a drop.
The Dow finished down 1,175.21 points or 4.6 percent at 24,345.75.
White House officials downplayed the recent rumble in the stock market, saying it's a short-term wobble and the US economy remains strong
"Look, markets do fluctuate in the short term," White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday.
"We all know that. And they do that for a number of reasons," he said. "But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong and they're headed in the right direction — for the middle class, in particular."
The Nasdaq composite fell 273.42 points, or 3.8 percent, to 6,967.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 56.18 points, or 3.6 percent, to 1,491.09.
The dollar fell to 109.70 yen from 110.28 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2399 from $1.2451.
Gold declined 80 cents to $1,336.50 an ounce. Silver dipped 4 cents to $16.67 an ounce.
Instead of cashing in your portfolio, and burying gold and silver in your backyard -- market pros say don't panic. Take the long view when looking at the financial picture. Try to focus on the historical percentage changes, instead of the point changes.