The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 234.25 points, or 1.07 percent, to 21,753.31, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 18.7 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,457.85 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 59.76 points, or 0.93 percent, to 6,375.57. In Toronto, the composite index S&P/TSX composite index has plunged from 101,45 points, or 0.7 %, to close at 15 090,15 points, nearly all of its sectors ended the day in the red. India's largest state-owned bank in asset terms has all the approvals in place and could raise as much US$3bn in tranches, via notes in dollars and rupees.
"Russia condemns North Korea's exercises, we consider that they are a provocation".
"We rallied pretty hard over the past two weeks and didn't really break out to the upside so I think that set us up to give some back today", said William Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee.
South Korea's Asia Business Daily, citing an unidentified source, reported that North Korea had moved what looked like an intercontinental ballistic missile towards its west coast, possibly in preparation for a launch.
Over the weekend, North Korea tested what experts reportedly believe to be a hydrogen bomb.
Konstantinos Anthis at ADS Securities said: "With all that is going on this would be a good time for the Fed to present a consistent message to support the dollar, but yesterday policymakers Kashkari and Brainard urged for a slower rate hike pace, flagging the potential risks of a tightening policy".
Britain's services sector grew at the slowest pace in nearly a year in August amid uncertainty over Brexit, a survey showed on Tuesday.
United States markets weak; Dow loses over 200 points
On the data front, factory orders for July slumped 3.3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/factory-orders-for-july-slump-as-boeing-boost-reverses-2017-09-05) after being propelled in the previous month by a flurry of orders for Boeing aircraft.
Shares in United Technologies Corp (UTC) fell 2.5% after the company, which makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines, agreed to buy airline parts maker Rockwell Collins for $30bn (£23bn).
Atsushi Watanabe, quants analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, estimates a rise of one yen in the dollar/yen would reduce the overall operating profits of corporate Japan by 0.5 percent.
Insmed Inc.(INSM) rocketed 120% after the biotech firm said its study into NTM lung disease met its primary endpoint and it now plans to request a priority review and accelerated approval.
Each U.S. index had been on a multiday upward trend. Halliburton rose 2.2% to $39.75.
And there is plenty of uncertainty to go around these days, starting with North Korea's belligerent pursuit of nuclear weapons. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong ended the day down about 0.6 percent.
Also on Wednesday, oil prices rose as a number of refineries, pipelines and ports that were affected by Harvey reopened.
-Sara Sjolin contributed to this article.