The energy sector fell 1.59 per cent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors, after crude oil prices slipped below US$80 (RM332) a barrel as Saudi Arabia pledged to raise its crude production to a record.
Also weighing on energy stocks was oilfield services provider Halliburton, which gave up earlier gains to drop 2.7 per cent after forecasting a drop in current-quarter profit.
Leading health stocks lower was Bristol-Myers, which fell 5.8 per cent after the US health regulator said it would take more time to decide on the company’s cancer therapy.
Earlier, US stock index futures were higher, tracking gains for global equities on hopes of economic stimulus in China and an easing of tensions over Italy’s debt.
But after a higher open, the three US indexes tipped lower, with Italian banks also dropping in Europe.
“We feel the reason that it traded up wasn’t really a good reason. Futures rallied with China which obviously has been down close to 30 per cent this year and there was news of government policy intervention and that really wasn’t for US markets to be up,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist in JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“Italy has been an ongoing problem, obviously Europe fading is not helpful, but then again US market was probably up too much.”
At 10.32am EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 135.22 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 25,309.12, the S&P 500 was down 15.89 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 2,751.89 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 13.57 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 7,435.45.
A number of disappointing earnings reports also did not help the mood ahead of what is expected to be the heaviest earnings week this season.
While a strong economy and deep corporate tax cuts are expected to have driven profits of S&P 500 companies up 22 per cent in the third quarter, according to Refinitiv data, investors are nervous over the outlook for future growth due to concerns over trade, rising costs and other factors.
Polaris, which makes the Indian motorcycle, skid 2.7 per cent after the company said trade and tariff worries were hurting profitability. That also pulled Harley-Davidson down 3.1 per cent.
Hasbro tumbled 4.8 per cent after its quarterly results missed estimates, as the demise of major retail partner Toys ‘R’ Us hurt sales in the United States and Europe. Mattel fell 2.9 per cent.
Technology stocks, though, held fort, rising 0.22 per cent. Intel gained 0.5 per cent after Nomura upgraded the stock to “buy”, according to a trader.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.50-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.32-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and 40 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded seven new highs and 148 new lows. — Reuters