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Stocks: The Street's Fears Deepen

A dismal report on the services sector sparked big losses in major indexes Tuesday. Investors may be in for more pain in the days ahead

Fears of an imminent U.S. recession were palpable on Wall Street on Tuesday, as investors reacted with dismay to a report indicating the first contraction in the services sector in nearly five years. Major U.S. indexes plummeted, in some cases recording the biggest one-day declines in a year.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average finished 370.03 points, or 2.93%, lower at 12,265.13. The broader S&P 500 index lost 44.18 points, or 3.20% to trade at 1,336.64, its biggest one-day loss in a year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 73.28 points, or 3.08%, to 2,309.57.