Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, March 16, 2015 in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

The Nasdaq composite closed with modest gains Tuesday as most stock prices fell as traders reacted to lower oil prices and awaited word on whether interest rates might start to rise.

The Fed Reserve Open Market Committee is expected to make a statement after a two-day policy meeting ends Wednesday.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 128.3 points, or nearly 1 percent, at nearly 17,849.1. The Dow jumped 228 the day before. The Standard & Poor's 500 index had lost nearly 7 points, or about 0.3 percent, to 2,074.2. The Nasdaq composite added nearly 8 points, or about 0.2 percent, to 4,937.4.

The price of oil fell again. U.S. crude is trading at a six-year low on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Around 4 p.m., the price was $43.17.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.06 percent.

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