U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund lowered its 2015 global economic growth forecast in part on slower economic growth across Europe. Investors are also weighing trades ahead of third-quarter earnings reports from American companies. 

By the market's close, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 272 points or 1.6 percent to 16,719, 3.2 percent below its record close of 17,279 on Sept. 19. The S&P 500 fell 1.5 percent to 1,935, and the Nasdaq composite lost 1.6 percent to 4,385. 

"We could see a continuation of these 100-plus-point-day moves as investors worry about could this be the end of a three-year run without a correction," Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones, told CNBC

The IMF cut its forecast for 2015 global economic growth to 3.8 percent Tuesday from 4 percent in July and warned the euro area could fall back into recession. In Germany, Europe's largest economy, industrial production fell 4 percent and factory orders by nearly 6 percent in August. IMF's forecast for U.S. economic growth next year, at 3.1 percent, did not change. 

But others point out the dip is not yet extraordinary.

"So far, the S&P 500, even with all the ups and downs since the mid-September peak, has corrected but 2 percent, even though it may feel worse than that given the volatility," according to Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenburg.