NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil slumped to its lowest level of the year on Tuesday and helped to restrain U.S. stock indexes, which set records a day earlier.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,446, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,514. Both the S&P 500 and Dow set records on Monday thanks to big gains from technology stocks.
The Nasdaq composite lost 14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,225, and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 4, or 0.3 percent, to 1,414.
SLIDING LOWER: The price of benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.09, or 2.5 percent, to $43.33 per barrel. It earlier got as low as $43.19, its weakest level since mid-November.
The price of oil has been bouncing between $40 and $60 per barrel for much of the last year, down from a peak of more than $110 in the summer of 2013. Drillers have gotten much more efficient at pulling oil out of the ground, which has helped supplies to balloon and weigh on prices. Oil-producing countries have banded together to cut production in hopes of limiting supplies, but analysts are skeptical about how much they can influence prices.
Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.21 to $45.70 per barrel.
THE STOCK EFFECT: The sliding price of oil helped yank energy stocks in the S&P 500 down by 1.6 percent, the largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
Transocean fell 43 cents, or 5 percent, to $8.14, Halliburton dropped $1.44, or 3.3 percent, to $42.53 and National Oilwell Varco lost $1.03, or 3.1 percent, to $32.55.
YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.17 percent from 2.19 percent late Monday. The two-year yield dipped to 1.35 percent from 1.36 percent, and the 30-year yield fell to 2.75 percent from 2.79 percent.
CURRENCIES: The British pound fell to $1.2618 from $1.2729 after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney cooled market expectations that the bank may soon raise interest rates.
The euro dipped to $1.1143 from $1.1147, and the dollar ticked up to 111.62 Japanese yen from 111.54 yen.
COMMODITIES: Gold slipped $1.20 to $1,245.50 per ounce, silver lost 9 cents to $16.42 per ounce and copper dropped 3 cents to $2.56 per pound.
Natural gas was close to flat at $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.40 per gallon and wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.42 per gallon.
MARKETS OVERSESAS: The French CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent, the German DAX added 0.1 percent and the FTSE 100 dipped 0.2 percent.
The Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent.