Stocks fall for a fourth day
Stocks fell Tuesday on mixed economic reports and concern about a government shutdown. Stocks edged lower in early trading, before reversing the losses to move modestly higher by late morning. The gains then fizzled out.
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After falling 2 percent in October of last year, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose for seven straight months, gaining 15 percent.Skip to next paragraph
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On Tuesday, the Dow closed down 66 points, 0.4 percent, to 15,334. The S&P 500 index fell four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,697. The Nasdaq composite, however, edged up three points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,768.
Stocks edged lower in early trading, before reversing the losses to move modestly higher by late morning. The gains then fizzled out.
Phone company stocks were the biggest decliners among the 10 industry groups that form the S&P 500. Industrial stocks were the biggest gainers.
Before the market opened, a survey showed that home prices rose the most since February 2006. A revival in housing has been one of the bright spots for the economy.
In another key economic gauge, the Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said that its consumer confidence index dropped to 79.7 in September, down from August's 81.8.
Consumers' confidence is closely watched because their spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. Confidence has grown since the Great Recession, but it hasn't hit a reading of 90, which typically accompanies a healthy economy.
They S&P 500 index is just 28 points below its all-time high reached last Wednesday, when investors were initially thrilled that the Fed extended its economic stimulus. Since then, the market has fallen each day as doubts emerge about the outlook for the economy, and budget negotiations.
In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose fell as investors bought bonds. The yield dropped from 2.70 percent late Monday to 2.66 percent, its lowest level in six weeks. The yield on the note is a benchmark for rates of consumer loans.
Among stocks making big moves:
— Software company Red Hat fell $6.20, or 12 percent, to $46.73 after it reported lower-than-expected quarterly billings and issued disappointing revenue forecasts.
—Carnival fell $2.86, or 8 percent, to $34.54 after the cruise ship operator warned revenue could drop more than its prior forecast.
— Applied Materials, a manufacturer of chip-making equipment, rose $1.45, or 9 percent, to $17.45 after it agreed to acquire a rival.
— Facebook rose $1.26, or 3 percent, to $48.45 after Citigroup upgraded the company's stock to a "buy" recommendation from "neutral." Facebook should continue to grow, helped by increasing advertising revenue contributions from its mobile website, Citigroup said.