The Dow Jones industrial average had its second-biggest drop of the year, plunging almost 500 points, or 1.9 percent, shortly after 2:00 p.m.
Rising bond yields have been drawing investors out of the stock market, and the stocks that have performed best over the past year took some of the biggest losses Wednesday. Boeing lost 4.7 percent to $367.57 and Alphabet, Google's parent company, gave up 4.6 percent to $1,092.16.
Technology stocks slid more than 2 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index down 3 percent after Swiss vacuum valve maker VAT Group said demand from chip equipment makers was softening.
But a recent International Monetary Fund warning on global growth taking a hit from trade disputes has hit confidence in the stock market, as has US Treasury yields at more than 7-year highs, signalling a tightening of capital globally.
The S&P 500 shed 2.05% to below its 200-day moving average, extending its longest losing streak since the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, the technology-heavy Nasdaq index dropped by 1.3pc to 7,329.
The biggest driver for the market over the last week has been interest rates, which began spurting higher following several encouraging reports on the economy. They've also dropped more than the rest of the market so far this month.
It followed a bleak session in Europe, where Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 had each ended the day more than 2% lower.
The dollar index fell 0.17 percent, with the euro up 0.25 percent to $1.1518.
Stocks are in the midst of a scary October slump, sliding sharply because investors are anxious about rising interest rates. It has fallen 7.5 percent in just five days.
U.S. stocks notched solid gains in the third quarter as investors brushed aside worries about trade wars and focused on strong corporate earnings and solid USA economic data.
Wall Street stocks has plunged with major indices losing more than three percent in a sell-off prompted by the sudden jump in U.S. interest rates.
The pullback - particularly for tech stocks - is needed, argued Joe Heider, president of Cirrus Wealth Management.
Bond prices rose as the recent surge in yields attracted the attention of some investors.
Bank shares were boosted as yields rose, with Citigroup and Bank of America seeing gains of 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Silver dipped 0.5 per cent to $14.33 an ounce.
Tech stocks and companies that sell non-essentials to consumers have been some of the top performers over the past year, gaining almost twice as much ground as the S&P 500. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares closed down 1.57 percent.