Stocks finished lower Tuesday. The Dow fell 100 points to 25,286, while the S&P 500 slipped 4 points to 2,722. The Nasdaq Composite was unchanged at 7,200.
The major averages toggled between gains and losses during a choppy session as weakness in the Energy sector offset positive trade updates. Oil prices extended their longest losing streak on record, as WTI crude tumbled an additional 8.1% to $55.06/barrel. Today’s sharp decline marked the worst daily performance for WTI crude since 2015 and the lowest closing price of the year. In geopolitics, U.S. and Chinese officials confirmed they have reengaged in high level trade discussions. On the data front, the lone update showed small business optimism unexpectedly eased slightly from the prior month, but remains near all-time highs.
Energy shares weighed on the major averages today as the sell-off in oil caused the group to fall roughly 2.4% on the session. Healthcare and Consumer Staples also underperformed as both groups saw a flurry of analyst downgrades. Technology stocks finished marginally higher as a strong rebound in the semi-conductor space helped offset continued weakness in Apple which fell an additional 1.0% to $192.23. In earnings, Home Depot fell 0.2% to $179.00 despite topping analyst profit projections and raising forward guidance.
Breadth was slightly negative on issues on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 4.0 billion shares.
Treasuries were stronger, as the yield on the benchmark 10-year note slipped four basis points to 3.14%. In commodities, COMEX gold declined 0.1% $1,201.90/ounce despite a weaker dollar.