NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, erasing the previous session's sharp rally, on lingering concern about the strength of the global economy and its effect on the nascent earnings season.
German exports slumped by 5.8 percent in August, the biggest drop since January 2009, following data earlier this week that showed industrial orders and output suffered their steepest drops in more than five years.
"Investors are focused on the uncertainty about the economy," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder at Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California.
"The market is selling off based on concerns there is not enough stimulus out there to support equity prices."
Adding to concerns, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said the disconnect between the market's view on the Fed's rate hike path and its own view was concerning.
"The markets are making a mistake," said Bullard, a non-voting member of the FOMC who is however seen by investors as a bellwether among Fed officials.
Energy shares were by far the weakest on the day, dropping 3.7 percent in their biggest one-day decline since April 2013. U.S. crude oil prices settled down 1.8 percent to $85.81 per barrel.
The materials sector fell 2.1 percent.
At 2:55 p.m. EDT (1455 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 323.38 points, or 1.9 percent, to 16,670.84, the S&P 500 lost 38.53 points, or 1.96 percent, to 1,930.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 82.97 points, or 1.86 percent, to 4,385.62.
The S&P 500 posted back-to-back intraday moves of more than 40 points for the first time in three years.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Ventas Inc , up just 1.5 percent, while the largest percentage decliner was Gap Inc, down 12.4 percent.
On the Nasdaq 100, the largest gainer was Apple Inc , up only 0.2 percent, while the largest percentage decliner was Vimpelcom Ltd, down 5.9 percent.
Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,672 to 375, for a 7.13-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,278 issues were falling and 398 advancing for a 5.72-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 21 new 52-week highs and 16 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 22 new highs and 190 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski)