(CNBC) U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday, with the Dow positioned for its worst hit since October, as corporations reported earnings that disappointed and orders for U.S. business equipment unexpectedly declined in December.
"If you live in the northeast, and you work from home, you're trying to figure out why the market is down 400 points. It's a combination of an increase in volatility when you have a decrease in volume, and a transition period between seeing the ill effects of lower energy prices on companies hurt by the stronger dollar and weaker commodity prices, before we see the benefits of better consumer spending," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
Caterpillar fell after the Dow component and maker of mining and construction equipment reported a lower profit short of estimates.
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