Wall Street’s recent rally paused a bit on Tuesday, weighed down by weakness in General Electric and lower oil prices that were a drag on the energy sector. As a result that sector fell 1.2 percent as Brent crude oil shed some of its recent gains, falling nearly $1 per barrel.
Industrials and materials were the other major laggards on the S&P, down 0.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
General Electric fell 2.9 percent after raising the prospect of breaking itself up and announcing more than $11 billion in charges from its long-term care insurance portfolio and new tax laws.
The CBOE Volatility index, a widely followed measure of market anxiety, rose to a more than 1-month high of 11.66.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had broken above the 26,000 mark for the first time as fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a strong start following upbeat results from UnitedHealth and Citigroup.
UnitedHealth rose 1.9 percent after the largest U.S. health insurer reported results that beat estimates and raised its 2018 earnings outlook.
More than three quarters of the 30 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Cruz added that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s business conditions index, which came in slightly below expectations on Tuesday, may have also contributed to Wall Street’s dip.
Merck rose 5.8 percent after early results from a key study showed its blockbuster drug Keytruda and two chemotherapy medicines helped lung cancer patients live longer and stopped the disease from advancing.
Viacom fell 7.0 percent after sources told Reuters CBS Corp and the company were not in active merger discussions.
Approximately 8.30 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 6.48 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.