Comments from ECB President Mario Draghi put investors in a bad mood. He raised concerns about the German economy slowing.
For Wall Street, it's a sign that even the biggest and strongest countries are not immune to the debt crisis.
That sent oil prices in the US tumbling nearly 5%.
Tuesday's presidential election certainly was a factor. The big issue: How is President Obama going to deal with the biggest issue facing the US economy... The fiscal cliff?
Ratings agency Fitch fired a warning shot Wednesday, saying it will downgrade the US credit rating if Congress does nothing and the economy goes over the edge.
As one analyst put it today, if there's no resolution, stocks will plummet and the economy will drown in quicksand.
That all sent the Dow tumbling 312-points -- the biggest decline of the year.
We did see some individual sectors post big moves, and it was a direct result of President Obama winning re-election.
Bank stocks sold off, with JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America falling 5 to 7% each.
The thinking is that with Obama as president, there will be a continuation of tight regulation.
On the flip side, hospitals posted the biggest gains among NYSE listed companies. Tenet, HCA, and others surged 10% each because one thing is for sure: Obamacare is here to stay. That means more Americans will have health insurance and that means more customers for hospitals.