U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, with the main indexes erasing early modest gains to close lower for the third straight decline for the three main equity benchmarks, ahead of the unofficial start of third-quarter results from American corporations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.34% fell 118 points, or 0.3%, the S&P 500 index declined 0.2% to 4,350, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.14% declined 0.1% to 14,465. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.61%, however, was headed for a close in positive territory, up 0.4%. Markets have been choppy amid concerns about slowing growth here and abroad and worries that inflation may be more durable than had been previously estimated by some members of the Federal Reserve. The International Monetary Fund said that it now sees global growth of 5.9% this year – down one-tenth of a percent from its July forecast – and then slowing to 4.9% growth in 2022. For the U.S., the IMF cut its growth estimate for this year down to 6%. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic said that the recent burst of U.S. inflation is likely to last longer than expected and no longer should be considered “transitory.” Minutes from the Fed’s Sept. 21-22 meeting are due at 2 p.n. ET on Wednesday. Before that, a report on consumer inflation, the consumer price index, is due at 8:30 p.m. ET.