Why Is the Stock Market Down Today? Dow Down 500 as Fed Rate Increase, Government Shutdown Looms

Tthe stock market fell hard again on Monday ahead of the Federal Reserve's plan to hike interest rates for a fourth time this year.

Worries about the economy continue to dog investors ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve decision on interest rates later this week, according to The New York Times.

Crude oil, corporate bonds, shares of tech, health care, small companies and blue-chip corporations all suffered lower on the index.

If the market fails to recover, 2018 would be Wall Street's worst year since the financial crisis a decade ago, wrote The New York Times.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, down more than 7 percent so far for the month, are "on track for their worst December performance since the Great Depression in 1932, reported CNBC Monday, adding that the S&P is in the red for 2018 by 4 percent.

Fears of rising interest rates and "an ambitious central bank have spooked markets throughout 2018," CNBC reported Monday, adding that such concerns have heightened over the past month as inflation and growth expectations recede.

Industry experts fear that coupled with the pending rise in interest rates – and the S&P 500 dropping to a new low on Monday – it "could be too much for the economy and stock market to handle."

Jeffrey Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital CEO, said Monday he absolutely believes the S&P 500 will go below 2018 lows, reported CNBC.

The S&P 500 fell 2.5 percent to 2,530.54 – exceeding the low of 2,532.69 in February. The broad market index finished the session down 2 percent at 2,545.94, its lowest close for the year.

Also on Monday, Dow Jones lost 507.43 points to close at 23,592.98; that totals its two-day losses to more than 1,000 points for 2018.

All 30 stocks in the Dow industrials and all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 ended lower, reported The Wall Street Journal. Major indexes opened modestly lower and began a steady descent around midday.

The pattern of volatile trading sessions may be due, in part, to the trade war between China and the United States and how it affects global growth and interest rates' bite into corporate profits, wrote The New York Times.

The American economy continues to show signs of slowing. American homebuilders report in a survey that rising mortgage rates have hurt affordability and sales.

Amazon and Goldman Sachs are among the corporations that led the declines on Monday.

The scheduled rate hike on Wednesday will reportedly be the last one of 2018.