NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks pulled back sharply from Monday's rally, pressured by lower crude oil prices and jitters surrounding the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting.
The S&P 500 slid 0.67% on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.86%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.42%.
Crude oil was barely hanging onto its level of $43 a barrel as talk of Iranian oil being added to a global supply glut pressured the commodity. Iran's oil minister said on Monday that the country would increase production by 1 million barrels a day if international sanctions are lifted. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 2% to $43.01 a barrel.
Stocks have been highly volatile over the past week as Wall Street focused on whether the Fed might remove its "patient" language from its statement, a move that would set into action a possible rate hike later this year. A statement from the Fed is expected Wednesday afternoon.
"In light of so much recent data that surely has the Fed a bit scared knowing full well that their own forecasts have been way too optimistic for the entirety of this cycle, logic would dictate both some acknowledgement to that recent data and reemphasis that the path of hiking will be contingent," said CRT Capital's David Ader of the tricky path the central bank has to tread in its statement to be released on Wednesday.
Housing starts tumbled 17% in February to 897,000, the lowest level in 13 months and the first time starts were under 1 million since August. Economists had expected 1.05 million starts over the month.
"This is yet another economic miss in a long string of misses and while the weather is an excuse unlikely to placate many, it should work for some," said BTIG chief strategist Dan Greenhaus. "A weak first quarter is now a virtual guarantee as yet another cold winter is dampening activity."
Apple (AAPL) was among the best large-cap performers, up 1.2% on reports the tech giant could announce a Web TV offering as early as June, according to The Wall Street Journal. The service would feature channels such as ABC, CBS and Fox and would reportedly launch in September.
Retail fund Macerich (MAC) rejected a $16 billion bid from shopping-mall real estate company Simon Property (SPG) and adopted a poison pull to go into effect should anyone acquire more than a 10% stake. Macerich dropped 3% and Simon Property was down 0.35%.
DSW (DSW) surged 3.3% after reporting a 7% increase in comparable-store sales over its fourth quarter. The footwear retailer reported earnings of 35 cents a share, 7 cents better than forecast, while sales spiked nearly 12%.
Burlington Stores (BURL) popped 2.8% after beating analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-line and after posting a nearly 7% increase in comparable-store sales during the fourth quarter.
Plug Power (PLUG) shares tumbled 8.2% after the fuel cell maker reported a wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter.
Oracle (ORCL) and Adobe (ADBE) are expected to report earnings after the closing bell on Tuesday. Oracle is expected to report quarterly earnings of 68 cents a share, while Adobe should post 39 cents a share.