Dow Jones News: Markets Fall As March FOMC Meeting Starts

In Dow Jones news today, the Dow slid again as investors prepare for another interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Winter weather also played a role in pulling down transportation stocks as blizzard conditions on the East Coast stifle economic activity.

Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 20,837.37; -44.11; -0.21%

S&P 500: 2,365.45; -8.02; -0.34%

Nasdaq: 5,856.82; -18.97; -0.32%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Wednesday's economic calendar.

DJIA Today: Dow Drops as Oil Slumps and Rate Hike Expectations Increase

The Dow fell 44 points as the markets prepare for tomorrow's announcement by the Federal Reserve on whether the central bank will raise interest rates in March.

The expectation is that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow afternoon at the conclusion of the meeting. The Fed's plans on monetary policy have some investors asking a very perilous question: "Will the stock market crash after the FOMC meeting?" We break down the ramifications of another interest rate hike this week and if it could cause the next stock market crash. 

Airline stocks were under pressure – including United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) and American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) – due to paralyzing winter weather on the East Coast. Thousands of flights have been delayed due to blizzard conditions.

Crude oil prices were slumping for the seventh consecutive session after OPEC released a bearish report on the near-term future for oil. OPEC reported an uptick in global inventory levels. The news coincides with a report this afternoon from the American Petroleum Institute. Analysts are expecting another build in crude inventories in the United States.

The WTI crude oil price today fell 1.1%, while Brent crude dipped 0.4%.

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