Energy stocks were especially weak after oil giant Chevron ( CVX) gave a gloomy financial update, and Alcoa ( AA) was a significant drag as well after the company delivered a surprise quarterly profit but moderated its global aluminum demand forecast. "Today has been pretty emblematic of what we've been seeing in the marketplace where we're dealing with two forces that are pushing against each other," said Leo Kelly, managing director at Hightower. "On one side we have really a questionable earnings period ... and Europe's still not out of the woods, Spain's pushing back on the ECB in terms of the timing of their bailout. On the other side you have QE3 and just an astounding amount of liquidity washing through the market that was already awash in liquidity." "
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. equity averages finished sharply lower on Wednesday as the early results for third-quarter reporting season exacerbated investor worries about a slowing global economy.