Banks and retail chains were also among the big decliners.
The CBOE Volatility Index - a measure of investors' expectations for swings in the S&P 500 over the next 30 days - surged Thursday to its highest level since U.S. Election Day. Oil prices were headed higher.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,467.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to end at 21,844.01, the only close below 22,000 since breaking through that level for the first time August 2.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 37.30 points, or 0.59 percent, at 6,315.03.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Thursday not to strike Guam or U.S. allies, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough. The general also outlined plans to launch four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles to strike the sea around US territory Guam.
TECH SLIDE: Losses among technology stocks led the market slide.
Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. backtracked 2.05 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 2.56 percent. TripAdvisor shares shed $2.70, or 6.8 percent, to $36.85.
Disappointing earnings also helped pull the market lower Wednesday.
On average, the S&P 500 falls 5% or more every 10 weeks and the index falls 10% every 33 weeks, according to data analyzed by AllianceBernstein going back to 1928.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. climbed 21.5 percent after the luxury handbag and apparel designer and retailer's latest quarterly results beat analysts' forecasts as sales improved. The stock fell $169 to $1,879.98.
The Nasdaq is up 833.75 points, or 15.5 percent. Kohl's also declined, sliding $3.62, or 8.6 percent, to $38.31.
Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.
The Dow is up 2,081.41 points, or 10.5 percent.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $49.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the global standard, lost 23 cents to $52.14 a barrel in London. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 56 cents, to $52.70, in London. The euro fell to $1.1735 from $1.1752.
Escalating tensions around Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions sent a shiver through markets worldwide and pushed the dollar to below 109.7 yen in afternoon forex trade to an eight-week low against the safe haven currency, piling more pressure on Japanese stocks. Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.