U.S. stocks traded mostly lower Tuesday as investors eyed oil prices and softness in China trade data, ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week.
The Dow Jones industrial average stumbled 143 points to 17,587.51, with Boeing and Goldman Sachs contributing the most to losses in mid-morning trade.
The S&P 500 shed 12.03 points to 2,065.04, with industrials leading nine sectors lower and health care the only advancer.
The NASDAQ index fought to within 9.78 points of breakeven to 5,092.03.
Qualcomm briefly fell 4% after European Union anti-trust regulators charged the firm with abusing its market power to thwart rivals, putting the world's number-one mobile chipset maker at risk of a hefty fine, Reuters said. The chip maker also said the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission opened an investigation into its patent licensing deals.
Apple held slightly lower after dipping more than 1%.
In U.S. economic news, the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey – JOLTS, for short -- showed 5.383 million openings in October, while the September figure was revised slightly higher to 5.534 million. The quits rate held steady from September at 1.9%.
Overseas, Chinese trade data released overnight showed exports declined for the fifth-straight month and imports down a record 13 months. However, the decline in imports was less than expected and slowed from last month. The drop in both imports and exports add to concerns about global growth and a tepid domestic demand-driven recovery.
Reuters noted that China crude oil imports for the first 11 months of the year rose 8.7% to 6.61 million barrels per day, with November crude imports growing 7.6% from the same month a year ago. The news helped oil briefly attempt gains in early morning trade.
Prices for the 10-year Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.22% from Monday's 2.24%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices recovered 23 cents a barrel to $37.88 U.S.
Gold prices picked up $2.49 to $1,073.83 U.S. an ounce.
Source: WallSt Money US Market Commentary
(December 8, 2015 - 1:02 PM EST)
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