he US markets finished at their session lows dragged down by financials. HSBC, Bank Of America and JP Morgan Chase were among the key losers.

Retail sales fell for the second straight month, down 0.4 percent in April amid weak gasoline and electronics sales.

In other data, business inventories declined 1 percent in March, compared with a 1.4-percent drop in February.

The Dow slipped 184.22 points, or 2.2%, to 8,284.89. The S&P 500 index fell 24.43 points, or 2.7%, to 883.92, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 51.73 points, or 3%, to 1,664.19.

Douglas Roberts, Channel Capital Research.com said that, "The question is if you believe that the markets are going to come back. What's the next thing that is going to bring us out of it? It was really the financial that took over the leadership from tech. The question is what are we going to get that is going to give us growth in this area. Are you talking alternative energy? I don't think that's going to be it. So therefore the next leg is going to come when people start to realise that there maybe a recovery but its not like the recovery you have seen in the past, its a much slower recovery.

Steve Grasso, Penso Capital Markets said that, "Market has been very overbought at these levels. There is naturally going to be people that are wanting to sell out at these levels. The real test for the market hasn't come yet. This is a classic pullback; the real test is still to come. A lot of people are now talking about how the markets are much better now, the global economy indicators are looking better. People forget that in 2001 the global economy indicators turned up very quickly but on 2002 we made new lows, 22% lower, so the idea that economics are better, stock markets are better is not necessarily connected."

In commodities
Copper prices fell over 2% on lower than expected US retail sales. The metal has tumbled 7.1 percent in five sessions. Crude loses some steam, slips over a percent.
Gold climbed to the highest level in six weeks as a drop in the dollar boosted demand for the precious metal as a store of value.