Stocks fall slightly as oil prices slide
Energy companies led U.S. stocks modestly lower Tuesday, erasing the small gains the market made a day earlier.
The biggest drop in crude oil prices since October weighed on energy stocks. Disappointing results or outlooks from retailers and other companies also weighed on the market.
Utilities and consumerfocused companies bucked the trend.
Investors had their eye on Washington, where the House is expected to vote on its version of a major tax bill this week. Expectations that the tax overhaul will sharply lower corporate taxes have helped lift the market this year.
The steep drop in crude oil prices weighed on oil exploration companies and other energy-sector stocks.
Newfield Exploration was the biggest decliner in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, tumbling 7.1% to $29.82. Range Resources fell 6.6% to $17.35.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.06, or 1.9%, to $55.70 a barrel, its biggest single-day decline since October. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 95 cents, or 1.5%, to $62.21 a barrel.
“There’s this perception that there’s a lot of supply waiting in the wings, and as prices have moved higher, that’s made the marginal producer want to come out and just find more oil,” said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer of U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Home Depot rose 1.6% to $168.06 after it turned in better-than-expected results and raised its outlook for the year.
Advance Auto Parts leaped 16.3% to $95.72 — the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 — after the company’s latest quarterly earnings exceeded expectations.
TJX Cos., the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, slid 4% to $67.94 after it reported revenue and earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates.
General Electric fell 5.9% to $17.90, sliding sharply for the second day in a row after analysts downgraded the industrial conglomerate. On Monday, GE pulled back on profit expectations and slashed its dividend in half. Its shares are down 43.4% this year.
Buffalo Wild Wings soared 24% to $145.35 after a report that Roark Capital offered to buy the chain for $150 a share, or $2.3 billion.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.38% from 2.41%.
Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $1.76 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.91 a gallon. Natural gas slid 7 cents to $3.10 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold rose $4 to $1,282.90 an ounce. Silver rose 3 cents to $17.07 an ounce. Copper fell 5 cents to $3.07 a pound.
The dollar fell to 113.40 yen from 113.57 yen. The euro rose to $1.1794 from $1.1667.