Major U.S. benchmarks edged lower on Tuesday as stocks once again came under pressure as Fed started its two-day policy meeting and investors braced for a rate hike in the coming months. Also, investors digested a mixed bag of corporate earnings results. All the three major indexes ended in negative territory. How Did The Benchmarks Perform? The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slipped 0.2% or 66.77 points to finish at 34,297.73 points. However, the blue-chip pared most of the day’s losses. The index had shed more than 800 points at its session low on Tuesday but also managed to swing into positive territory once in the afternoon. The S&P 500 fell 1.2% or 53.68 points to close at 4,356.45 points. The index had also briefly entered correction territory during Tuesday’s trading session. A close below 4.316.90 points will mark a 10% decline from its recent closing high recorded on Jan 3, which will technically put the index into correction territory. Energy and financial stock were the only gainers in Tuesday’s session. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) lost 2.3%, while the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) lost 2.1%. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) rose 3.9%. Nine of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in negative territory. The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 2.3% or 315.83 points to end at 13,539.29 points. Shares of NVIDIA Corporation ( NVDA Quick Quote NVDA - Free Report) declined 4.5%, while Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT Quick Quote MSFT - Free Report) fell 2.7%. NVIDIA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see . the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 4.21% to 31.16, closing at its highest level since Jan 29, 2021. A total of 13.13 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 11.23 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.34-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.53-to-1 ratio favored declining issues. Investors Concerned About Fed’s Stance Stocks staged a late session comeback on Monday but were back under pressure on Tuesday as multiple reasons kept them worried. Stocks took a bit hit in a volatile session that saw investors trying to cope with worries of rising inflation. Also, rising rates have been worrying investors for quite some time that is taking a toll on stocks. Investors are growing increasing anxious about the Fed’s expected policy changes, which they believe is now going to be more aggressive than expected earlier. All these factors are playing an important role in making investors jittery, which is witnessing massive sell off over the past week. Geopolitical Tensions, COVID-19 Cases Increase Worries Rising interest rates have been wreaking havoc on high-growth tech stocks since the beginning of the year. This has seen investors dumping tech stocks and go for more defensive stocks. Financial and energy stocks that stand to gain from the economic recovery higher yield gained on Tuesday. Moreover, fears of Russia invading Ukraine have looming large, which has further escalated investors’ worries. To add to the woes is the rising COVID-19 cases that has seen a rise in both death and hospitalizations. These factors have also been taking a toll on stocks for the past few days and Tuesday was no different. Economic Data In economic data released on Tuesday, the Conference Board said that U.S. consumer confidence declined 1.4 points in January after rising in December. The Index came up with a reading of 113.8 in January down from 115.2 in December. In other economic report, U.S. home prices slowed down for the fourth straight month in November. The Case-Shiller national home price index rose 18.8% in November on an annual basis, down from 19% recorded in October.