U.S. stocks declined on Monday, extending a two-week slide, as worries about the falling price of oil took hold before the start of quarterly earnings.
“We had a great run last year and a little bit of indigestion now based upon the decline in energy prices and the perceived impact on fourth-quarter earnings,” Phil Orlando, equity market strategist at Federated Investors, said.
Oilfield-services provider Schlumberger declined after Goldman Sachs Group downgraded its shares to neutral from buy, while also cutting its outlook for benchmark oil prices.
“Goldman’s negative outlook on oil is putting oil on its knees; we’re at a new low here for the year,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, said.
Bristol-Myers Squibb jumped after the drug developer reported upbeat results on a potential treatment for a common form of lung cancer; Lululemon Athletica rose after the maker of yoga clothes hiked its outlook for fourth-quarter revenue and profit; SanDisk dropped after the supplier of memory chips for Apple‘s phones projected lower quarterly revenue than previously forecast; Tiffany tumbled after the upscale jeweler cut its full-year earnings outlook.
NPS Pharmaceuticals surged after Shire said it would pay about $5.2 billion to purchase the developer of medicines to treat rare disease; Roche Holding said it would pay more than $ billion for a majority stake in genomic-test maker Foundation Medicine.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, jumped nearly 11 percent to 19.47.
Chevron and Exxon Mobil led blue-chip declines, which had a 56-point gain quickly evaporating and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 165 points before ending at 17,640.84, down 96.53 points, or 0.5 percent.
The S&P 500 shed 16.52 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,028.29, with energy leading declines and telecommunications the sole sector in the green among its 10 major industry groups.
The Nasdaq declined 39.36 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,664.71.
For every share rising, less than two fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 778 million shares traded. Composite volume topped 3.4 billion.
“As soon as we get a day or two of stabilization, oil drops off a cliff again,” Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, said of the crude’s descent.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for February delivery below $46 a barrel for the first time since April 2009, ending down 4.7 percent, at $46.09 a barrel; gold futures rose to $1,232.80 an ounce.
After the close, Alcoa reports fourth-quarter results, marking the unofficial start to the earnings season. The aluminum producer gained after Nomura Holdings advised purchasing its shares.
On Friday, U.S. stocks dropped, pulling benchmarks back into the red for the year, as the December jobs report topped expectations but hourly earnings declined, and investors tracked events in France after Wednesday’s massacre at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris.
“It was Paris that finally hit the market,” Cardillo said of the terror attacks, the worst in the French capital in more than 50 years.