The major domestic equity indexes ended the trading day on Tuesday in the red as General Electric saw its share price decline sharply for a second straight day. At the same time there was also a decline in the crude oil prices, which in turn hit energy stocks. The S&P 500 fell for the third session in the last four, but it remains within 1 percent of a record closing high hit last week.
GE fell 5.9 percent to $17.90 as it traded with the largest daily volume in two years. The Street is now wondering if the massive overhaul of the company by John Flannery, GE’s new Chief Executive, will be sufficient to revive the industrial conglomerate. The stock fell as low as $17.46 in intraday trading, its lowest point in nearly six years.
Energy was the largest decliner among the 11 S&P 500 sectors as oil prices fell the most in a month. The International Energy Agency forecast rising U.S. crude output and had a gloomy outlook for global demand growth.
Exxon ended the trading day down 0.8 percent and ConocoPhillips fell 2.5 percent, while the S&P 500 energy sector chalked up a loss of 1.5 percent, the most in more than four months.
Stocks favored by investors seeking yield, the so-called bond proxies, were the best performers as the yield curve, or the gap between short- and long-term U.S. government bond yields, remained near its flattest in a decade.
Utilities and consumer staples, sectors that pay relatively high dividends, were the best performers on the day. Utilities rose 1.2 percent for a 2.4 percent gain since Friday’s close, the largest two-day percentage gain since late February.
TV streaming device maker Roku ended a three-day winning streak after hitting a record high of $48.80, ending down 13.5 percent at $36.95.
Advance Auto Parts chalked up a gain of16.3 percent to $95.72 after it affirmed its full-year profit forecast and exceeded quarterly earnings estimates.
Approximately 6.73 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was approximately in line with the daily average over the last 20 sessions.