U.S. Stocks Pull Back in Midday Trading as Oil Prices Drop

Trader William McInerney works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Trader William McInerney works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks are pulling back in midday trading, led by declines in energy companies as the price of crude oil and other commodities turn lower. Murphy Oil fell 12 percent and oil rig operator Transocean lost 8 percent Tuesday. Traders were also discouraged by weak trade figures from China.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,027 as of 12:11 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,990. The Nasdaq composite gave up 24 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,684.

THE QUOTE: “We’re overbought,” said Chief Investment Officer Bill Stone of PNC Asset Management Group, noting that the S&P 500 is up about 10 percent from mid-February. “People are taking some profits off of the larger run-up from the low.”

SHAKE QUAKE: Hamburger chain Shake Shack plunged $4.80, or 11 percent, to $37.43 after delivering quarterly results and an outlook that disappointed investors.

SALES SLIP: Dick’s Sporting Goods fell 67 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $45.01. Its fourth-quarter results fell short of analysts’ expectations as a warmer-than-usual winter crimped the retailer’s sales. Its guidance for the future also disappointed.

URBAN JUMPS: Urban Outfitters jumped $4.05, or 14 percent, to $32.21. Late Monday, the retailer reported strong earnings and improved margins during the holiday season. The Philadelphia-based company said it earned $72.9 million, or 61 cents per share, in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, better than analysts expected.

DIVIDED AT UNITED: United Continental Holdings fell 71 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $56.90 after two investment firms went public on an effort to add six of its nominees to the board of directors. They also want to give a prominent role to the ex-CEO credited with saving Continental more than a decade ago. The two firms, Altimeter Capital Management and PAR Capital Management, own a combined 7.1 percent stake of the airline.

OIL FALLS: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.08, or 2.9 percent, to $36.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.98 on Monday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell $1.16, or 2.8 percent, to $39.68 a barrel.

CHINA TRADE: China’s exports plunged 25 percent in February from a year earlier, as weak global demand and a business shutdown during the Lunar New Year holiday combined to depress sales. Customs data Tuesday also showed imports fell 14 percent.

EUROPE DOWN: France’s CAC 40, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE 100 each fell 0.9 percent.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 0.8 percent and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.7 percent.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1046, up from $1.1013. The dollar edged down to 112.77 yen from 113.27 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.82 percent from 1.91 percent late Monday.