Stocks Slip Again Following Weak Business Investment Report

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

U.S. stocks were lower again Tuesday morning after the Commerce Department said a measurement of business investment fell in February. Banks and energy companies are taking some of the biggest losses. Stocks fell the previous day after weak car sales raised some worries about spending on other types of purchases.

Standard & Poor’s 500 index skidded 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,352 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,623. The Nasdaq composite fell 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,884. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slipped less than 1 point to 1,368.

The Commerce Department said orders to U.S. factories continued to grow in February, but a measurement of business investment spending decreased for the first time since September.

Energy companies traded lower. National Oilwell Varco lost 54 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $39.14 and Exxon Mobil gave up 62 cents to $81.44. Banks also lagged the market, as Bank of America fell 34 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $23.25 and KeyCorp declined 20 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $17.53.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 28 cents to $50.52 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 44 cents to $53.57 a barrel in London.

Bond prices inched lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.34 percent from 2.33 percent.

The dollar slipped to 110.55 yen from 110.96 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0651 from $1.0665.

Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.1 percent. In Germany, the DAX added 0.1 percent. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. The South Korean Kospi slipped 0.3 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for public holidays.