US stocks Tuesday fell sharply with the tech-rich Nasdaq suffering the deepest declines as investors fretted over the prospect of higher interest rates right before the kickoff of earnings season.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 112.90 points (0.66 percent) to 16,911.31.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 13.64 (0.69 percent) to 1,964.01, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 59.71 (1.34 percent) to 4,391.82.
Tuesday's losses were deeper than those suffered Monday, which came on the heels of record highs notched for three straight days last week.
"Almost any time when the Fed considers a rate change, there's some volatility" ahead of higher rates, said Brent Schutte, market strategist at BMO Global Asset Management.
"Concerns about higher rates lead to reduced exposure in high-growth names," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.
Analysts also cited profit taking after last week's surge.
Earnings season for the second quarter kicks off after the markets closed, with the release of financial results from aluminum producer Alcoa. The giant bank Wells Fargo reports Friday.