Stocks held losses on Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy as fears that Japan's nuclear power crisis could deepen sent investors in search of safety.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 187.01 points, or 1.56 percent, to 11,806.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 19.85 points, or 1.53 percent, to 1,276.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 42.04 points, or 1.56 percent, to 2,658.93.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)