U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday as one of the busiest days of the earnings season got under way, while oil prices slipped.
"Some of the earnings that have come out have been disappointing and you have oil [lower]," said Craig Sterling, head of U.S. equity research at Pioneer Investments. "The market is kind of aimless here today."
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 50 points lower, with 3M contributing the most losses to the tune of nearly 33 points, offsetting a gain of approximately 20 points from Procter & Gamble. The S&P 500 dropped around 0.4 percent, with consumer discretionary falling 1.2 percent to lead decliners. The Nasdaq composite underperformed, falling about half a percent. Earlier, the three major indexes traded slightly higher.
"I think oil prices combined with the dollar" are pressuring stocks, said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital. "Our companies don't like that."
The U.S. dollar traded flat to lower against a basket of currencies, near 98.69, after breaking above 99 for the first time since February, according to FactSet. The euro traded near $1.089, while the yen traded around 104.2.
"The US dollar certainly has had a nice bid over the past three weeks as its clear the Fed is trying to getting away with another hike by yr end but as it will come in the context of a 1.5% US growth story," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note.
"I argue that the FX discussion will shift from an interest rate differential one to where the growth is. Thus, I think the US dollar is just moving to the upper end of its multi year range rather than being on the cusp of a breakout," he said.
More than 90 companies were scheduled to post quarterly results on Tuesday. Dow components 3M, Caterpillar and DuPont reported earnings before the bell. Caterpillar and 3M posted mixed results, as both beat estimates on the bottom line, while missing on revenues. Caterpillar also lowered its 2016 earnings per share guidance.