The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 143 points at 12,411. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 17 points at 1,309. The Nasdaq composite is down 49 points at 2,810.
European countries have committed to lend $125 billion to save ailing Spanish banks that are dealing with big losses from a real estate bust. One trader says it's a "temporary fix," as investors are awaiting the outcome of an election this weekend in Greece.
Losing stocks outpaced gainers three to one in the United States. Volume was about 3.2 billion shares, one of the lowest this year.