U.S. stocks were sharply lower at Tuesday's close as the interest rate on the key U.S. government's 10-year Treasury bond reached the 3-percent level for the first time in more than four years.
The rise in the key bond yield heightened concerns of marquee companies that have warned of higher operating costs, which are passed on to to consumers.
Traders are worried the rising interest rates for long-term government bonds may be followed by a period of falling stock prices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.7 percent (more than 400 points) to end at 24,024. The S&P 500 Index fell 1.4 percent and the NASDAQ-100 Index plummeted more than two percent.
The U.S. economy remains healthy despite signs that growth slowed in the first quarter. The Conference Board announced Tuesday its consumer confidence index rebounded in April, and the Commerce Department announced higher than expected new home sales in March.