Trader Michael Urkonis, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Image Credit: AP

New York: Wall Street stocks tumbled Wednesday, with the Dow dropping nearly 650 points, as markets digested US election results and monitored upheaval in the cryptocurrency market.

After three straight positive sessions, stocks were in the red the whole session after US midterm elections.

Analysts said divided control of Washington — a scenario generally favorable to stocks — still appeared likely, even though Republican gains were smaller than expected.

The declines in equities came amid anxiety ahead of Thursday's pivotal consumer price report and as a big drop in bitcoin and other digital currencies raised worries about margin calls.

"What's going on in crypto markets is leaking out into equity markets," said Art Hogan, analyst at B. Riley Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.0 per cent to finish at 32,513.94.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 2.1 per cent to 3,748.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 2.5 per cent to 10,353.18.

Among individual companies, Disney plunged 13.2 per cent after reporting weaker-than-expected results as losses at the company's streaming services more than doubled the quarterly operating loss to $1.5 billion.

The results also weighed on other media stocks, including Paramount, which sank 6.3 percent and Fox, which dropped 3.5 percent.

Facebook-parent Meta jumped 5.2 percent as it announced it will lay off more than 11,000 of its staff as ad-supported tech firms like Facebook and Google face macroeconomic headwinds.