As of 12:15 p.m. Eastern, the S&P 500 had fallen 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 36 points or 0.1% to 32,882 while the Nasdaq lost 1.1%. Stocks of small companies also dropped. All major indexes are coming off two weeks of losses. Markets are slumping amid fading hopes for a more gentle Federal Reserve and stubbornly high inflation. Last week, the Federal Reserve raised its expectations about how long interest rates will remain elevated in order to reduce inflation that has been threatening businesses and spending. Technology stocks were among the worst-performing sectors. Crude oil prices in the United States rose 2.1% The Treasury yields have gained ground. The November report of the National Association of Realtors on U.S. home sales was released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. On Wednesday, the Conference Board will publish its December consumer confidence report. On Friday, the government will release a closely monitored monthly snapshot of consumer spending. This is the personal consumption expenditure price indicator for November. Last week's final meeting was concluded by the Fed raising its short-term rate by half a point. This is its seventh consecutive increase this year. The federal funds rate is currently at a range between 4.25% and 4.5%. This is the highest level in 15-years. Fed policymakers predict that the central bank's interest rate will rise to 5% to 5.25 percent by 2023. Although inflation is slowing down, there are signs that it is beginning to ease. While the Fed's aggressive policy could put a halt to the economy, it is also causing economic growth to slow down due to inflation pressure. Analysts expect a recession in 2023. However, it is hard to predict the severity and length of that recession.