Stocks closed lower Tuesday as U.S. oil settled below $40 for the first time since April and as the Dow closed lower for the seventh straight day.
"Given the flow of news we've had over the past few days, we're seeing a realization that we're at high levels," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. "Most of the indicators are mixed enough ... that investors have decided to pull back."
U.S. crude settled 1.37 percent lower, near at $39.51 per barrel, erasing earlier gains amid oversupply concerns. On Monday, WTI fell more than 3 percent to record its worst settlement since April 20.
"Overall, it's worries about global growth and that's been combined with oil prices," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 90 points lower after falling more than 150, recording its first seven-day losing streak since August of last year. Boeing and Goldman Sachs contributed the most losses within the Dow.
The benchmark S&P 500 ended about 0.6 percent lower, as consumer discretionary lagged. "They took out yesterday's low and they broke down below 2,160 and I think its feeding on itself," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS. The 2,160 level on the S&P is the top of a key support area.
The Nasdaq composite underperformed, falling about 1 percent. The index also snapped a five-day winning streak.
"I think we're seeing a shift in sentiment where investors are taking the path of least resistance to pressure stocks," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, adding the market is also taking a breather from its recent rally.
"If it's a short, orderly pullback, then this is a healthy pullback," said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, said "I think it's just us following global markets" lower.
Overnight, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.47 percent as investors awaited for a hefty fiscal stimulus plan announced last week. That said, the government's $132.04 billion plan was not enough to calm investors, as the yen soared to a three-week high versus the dollar, according to Reuters. The traditional safe-haven currency was last up 1.5 percent versus the dollar, near 100.8.