(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were lower on Wednesday as energy stocks remained under pressure after oil prices fell for a fourth straight day.
An unexpected rise in U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks added to a gloomy global demand outlook from the International Energy Agency, sending oil prices down more than 1 percent.
Exxon fell 0.7 percent, Schlumberger 1.7 percent and Halliburton 2.7 percent, dragging down the S&P energy index.
Metal prices also slid as data from China stoked fears of a slowdown in the world’s top commodities consumer.
“The market often goes through a bit of a what’s next in terms of a catalyst. Some of it’s just a natural pullback from what has been an extraordinary year,” said Dave Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management.
“In recent days, the stock market is taking cues from the bond market, particularly the junk bond market and the constantly changing odds of tax reform passing is also weighing.”
The U.S. Treasury yield curve flattened to a 10-year low after data showed a slight pickup in U.S. inflation, as the market priced in further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve next year.
At 10:53 a.m. ET (1453 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 105.32 points, or 0.45 percent, at 23,304.15, the S&P 500 was down 11.55 points, or 0.45 percent, at 2,567.32 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 29.85 points, or 0.44 percent, at 6,708.02.
All three indexes were on track to post their biggest intra-day percentage losses since Nov. 9.
The CBOE Volatility index, a widely followed measure of market anxiety, hit a more than 2 month high at 14.51.
Target shares tumbled 12 percent after the retailer issued a disappointing profit forecast for the key holiday quarter.
Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market announced price cuts on best-selling grocery items and holiday staples.
Shares of other retailers fell. Kroger slipped 1.82 percent, Costco 1 percent and Kellogg 2.19 percent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,983 to 806. On the Nasdaq, 1,740 issues fell and 967 advanced.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)