U.S. stock indexes fell sharply as fears of over possible interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve roiled financial markets around the globe.

In Europe, renewed concerns Greece may run out of money also spooked investors Tuesday. The euro sank to a 12-year low against the dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 241 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,755 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 25 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,054. The Nasdaq composite lost 67 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,875.

Barnes & Noble dropped 8 percent after reporting earnings that fell short of analysts' forecasts.

The price of oil fell 85 cents to $49.16 a barrel.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.14 percent.