Stocks slip due to energy companies
NEW YORK (AP) – The ongoing slump in oil prices weighed on stocks again Tuesday, pushing energy companies to another day of big losses. Disappointing earnings outlooks from a range of companies, including Priceline and Michael Kors, also dragged down the market.
Oil has fallen sharply in recent weeks as global supplies rise while demand for fuel trails expectations. The latest decline was prompted by reports that Saudi Arabia is cutting the price of oil that it supplies to the U.S. as it attempts to maintain its market share as U.S. production booms.
The drop in oil prices has hit energy stocks hard, driving them into negative territory for the year. It has also helped push the stock market back from the record levels that it reached last week.
“It’s a case of sell first, ask questions later, for anything oil-related,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.71 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,012.10. The Nasdaq composite dropped 15.27 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,623.64. The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the trend, edging up 17.60 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,383.84.
While energy stocks are suffering, many analysts and investors predict that the U.S. economy will benefit in the long run from falling energy costs. Lower gas prices will put more money in consumers’ pockets, giving them more spending power.
Airlines were among the winners Tuesday. Fuel is their single largest operating cost and lower prices should mean higher profits if demand for air travel stays strong. Delta Airlines surged $1.71, or 4.2 percent, to $42.32. United Continental, Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines also logged big gains.
Investors kept an eye on third quarter earnings reports as well.
Michael Kors fell the most in the S&P 500 index. The maker of luxury handbags, shoes and other accessories gave an outlook for the fourth quarter that disappointed investors.