The pullback in the U.S. stock market continued on Tuesday as some of last week's gains were wiped out. The move lower in stock prices came despite US consumer confidence hitting a 5-year high. Market participants continue to be leery about the approaching fiscal cliff as well as the ongoing European debt crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 89 points and closed just above 12,878. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,868 and 12,980.
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The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) lost 0.51 percent and finished at $140.33. Volume was a little lighter than normal with around 126.4 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 129.2 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, declined 0.34 percent to $64.96. Year-to-date, the QQQ is now up a little better than 16 percent.
Crude oil followed stocks lower on the day. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, lost 0.36 percent to $87.42. Brent crude contracts fell 0.80 percent to $110.03. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE:USO) shed 0.65 percent to $31.98.
Precious metals also fell on Tuesday. COMEX gold futures were last down 0.43 percent to $1,744.40 while silver had lost 0.33 percent to $34.12. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) registered a decline of 0.42 percent to close at $168.71.
Treasury prices rose as stocks fell. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) gained 0.38 percent to $125.28. The yield on the 10-Year Note fell 3 basis points to 1.64 percent.
The U.S. dollar rose on the day, which helped drag down stocks. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, added 0.27 percent to $22.00. The closely watched EUR/USD pair fell 0.45 percent and was last trading at $1.2933.
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