Stocks slid on Tuesday morning as global growth worries weighed on investor confidence.
The S&P 500 was down 0.34%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.05%.
Technical analyst Helene Meisler of Real Money, TheStreet's sister site for active traders, wrote that she's watching the Dow Jones Utility Average, which has tumbled for days to close Monday at 659.26. Meisler said a meaningful breakdown below 655 would be a bad sign for the broad market. Click here to check out her latest technical analysis.
The International Monetary Fund reiterated its forecast for weak global growth on Tuesday, pointing to softness in the United States' economy for overall weakness among advanced economies. The economic group cut its growth forecast for the U.S., the world's largest economy, to 1.6% from 2.2% in July.
The group also warned of a rise in populist figures, such as those involved in the Brexit push and the U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as slow growth fuels negative attitudes toward immigration and trade deals. The IMF anticipated global growth to climb 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017, unchanged from its previous forecast.
"Taken as a whole, the world economy has moved sideways," IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said in a statement. "Without determined policy action to support economic activity over the short and longer terms, sub-par growth at recent levels risks perpetuating itself."
Oil prices saw choppy trading on Tuesday as worries resurfaced over how effective a deal on oversupply among major oil producers would be. Reports surfaced that Libya and Iran have recently increased their output despite a deal reached last week among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cap production.
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.2% to $48.88 a barrel on Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve should make a move before inflation rises, like Fed Chair Alan Greenspan did in 1994, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said in a speech in West Virginia on Tuesday. The 1994 Fed hiked rates even as core inflation trended lower.
"While inflation pressures may seem a distant and theoretical concern right now, prudent preemptive action can help us avoid the hard-to-predict emergence of a situation that requires more drastic action after the fact," Lacker said. "One could argue that the Fed's preemptive moves in 1994 laid the foundation for the price stability we've enjoyed over the last 20-plus years."
The Fed is expected to raise rates in December after forgoing an interest rate increase in September. Fed Chair Yellen noted after the September meeting that the case for a hike had strengthened in recent months.
European markets were on track to close higher for their sixth straight day after the pound fell to a 31-year low on worries over the Brexit execution. Worries over how and when the United Kingdom would exit the European Union have pressured the currency since the decision by voters in late June to leave the EU.
"There's an uncertain road ahead for the U.K. in the run-up to Britain's formal divorce proceedings with the EU," Nigel Green, founder and CEO of financial consultancy deVere Group, wrote in a note. "Until the talks start, there will be no clear answers to the important questions about the UK's future relationship with the EU or the rest of the world and this is going to create ongoing uncertainty."
European markets rallied as the pound slumped. A lower pound makes investment in U.K. businesses more attractive and U.K.-made products cheaper to international buyers. The FTSE 100 in London rose 2.7%, on track to close at a record high. Germany's DAX climbed 1.9% and the CAC 40 in France increased 1.6%.
Pandora (P) spiked after Goldman Sachs added it to its conviction buy list and suggested a 34% upside to its current trading price. The firm pointed to opportunities in on-demand and premium subscriptions.
Darden Restaurants (DRI - Get Report) climbed 0.6% as strength at its Olive Garden franchise boosted earnings in its recent quarter. Same-store sales at the chain over the first quarter increased 2%. The company expects overall profit of $3.87 to $3.97 a share for the full year, up from its previous range that capped at $3.90 a share.
Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report) agreed to acquire marketing and advertising analytics startup Krux late Monday afternoon. The cloud-computing company agreed to a cash-and-stock deal worth around $700 million. Krux and Salesforce previously had a partnership agreement.
Apple (AAPL - Get Report) moved more than 1% higher on Tuesday, leading the Dow, after launching its Apple Pay service in Russia. The payment system is now available in 10 countries since first launching in 2014.
Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) was on watch ahead of a Google event later on Tuesday. The tech company is expected to unveil a host of new tech products at an event in San Francisco at 12 p.m. EDT, including two new smartphones, a virtual reality headset, and a home-based personal assistant.