The leading US share index plunged more than 200 points in early Tuesday trading, with oil companies and banks falling sharply.
In the opening minutes, the Dow Jones fell 1.33% to 16,230.92. The S&P 500 was down 1.23% at at 1,915.54 and the Nasdaq shed 0.68% to 4,589.13.
The biggest faller on the Dow was Chevron, dropping 3.2% as oil prices took another tumble.
Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were next, down 2.7% and 2.2% respectively.
On the commodities markets, both Brent and US crude were down about 5%, with West Texas Intermediate just above the $30 mark.
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