U.S. Stocks Close Lower As Energy Drags

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks finished lower Wednesday, and the Dow industrials and S&P 500 closed lower for the month of August, as oil prices fell and promising economic data supported the case for a Federal Reserve rate hike this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.42 points, or 0.3%, to close at 18,400.88, with Chevron Corp. shares leading the decline. The blue-chip average finished with a monthly loss of 0.2%. The S&P 500 index finished down 5.18 points, or 0.2%, at 2,170.94, with the energy and materials sectors leading the index lower, for a monthly loss of 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite index shed 9.77 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,213.22, and was the only major index to finish August at a gain with a 1% rise.

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