- Dow Jones Industrial Average down 64.94 (-0.49%) to 13,199.55
- S&P 500 down 5.73 (-0.40%) to 1,413.31
- Nasdaq Composite index down 6.13 (-0.20%) to 3,113.57
- Hang Seng Index up 1.31%.
- China Shanghai Composite Index up 0.47%.
- FTSE 100 down 0.62% to 5,838.34
U.S. stocks finished near their session lows Tuesday, led by a drop in energy and material stocks following declines in commodity prices. All 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 are down with defensive sectors such as utilities doing the best today, losing only about one quarter of 1%.
In economic news, new orders for U.S. factory goods rose 1.3% in February, just below the 1.5% expected by experts in a Reuters poll but posting a rise for the third time in four months. The Commerce Department also revised January's decline downward to 1.1% from a previously reported fall of 1%.
The Federal Reserve this afternoon released the minutes from its last Federal Open Markets Committee meeting in late January, showing policy makers at the central bank are in no hurry to pump more money into the U.S. economy beyond their current use of exchanged shorter-dated debt with longer-term notes. Stocks extended their decline after the minutes went online at 2 p.m. ET.
In company news, U.S. auto-makers reported solid sales gains during March, with sales for privately held Chrysler Group LLC climbing 34% from year-ago levels to 163,381 cars and light trucks, its highest monthly total in four years. General Motors (GM) enjoyed a 12% rise to 231,052 vehicles while Ford Motor Co (F) reported a 5% sales gain and 222,884 cars sold last month. Car research site TrueCar.com estimated that overall car sales will rise 14% in March, and that the annualized sales pace for the month, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, would reach 14.5 million vehicles.
Also today, Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP) said it was buying rival brewer StarBev from private equity fund CVC Capital Partners for 2.65 billion euros, or about $3.52 billion, significantly expanding its reach into the central and eastern European beer markets.
Commodities were mostly lower today, with the May NYMEX crude oil contract sliding $1.22 to settle at $104.01 a barrel. Crude came under pressure today after Saudi officials pledged to maintain increased oil production even if Western countries decide to tap their strategic reserves in a bid to lower fuel prices. June gold also finished lower at $1,672 an ounce, down $7.70 and has extended those losses into the afternoon. Copper for May delivery fell 2 cents to settle at $3.9190 a pound.
HEAT, Q4 revenues rise 50.8% over prior quarter.
VRNG, Positive article about firm's patent litigation appeared in Tech Crunch.
NVDQ, Plans offering 6.1 million shares priced at $5.75 each.
BBY, Cut to Sell from Buy at McAdams Wright Ragen.