(CNBC) — Stocks fell sharply on Tuesday in the biggest decline since the October rout as investors worried about a bond-market phenomenon signaling a possible economic slowdown. Lingering worries around U.S.-China trade also added to jitters down Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 764 points, or 2.9 percent, and was on pace for its worst day since Oct. 10. At its low of the day, the Dow had fallen more than 800 points. The S&P 500 declined 3.1 percent to trade below its 200-day moving average as the financials sector lagged. Utilities was the only positive sector in the S&P 500, rising 0.1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite also dropped 3.8 percent. Trading volume in U.S. stocks was also higher than usual

The yield on the three-year Treasury note surpassed its five-year counterpart on Monday. When a so-called yield curve inversion happens — short-term yields trading above longer-term rates — a recession could follow, though it is often years away after the signal triggers.

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