The S&P 500 closed just above its 2018 low Tuesday as stocks struggled to keep a rebound alive throughout the session.
The broad market index finished just above flatline at 2,546.16 after trimming a rally of more than 1 percent and falling into negative territory in afternoon trading at one point. The S&P 500 hit a new intraday low for the year, falling to 2,528.71 before recovering into the close. Market participants pointed to growing fears of a government shutdown, a slide in oil prices and worries that the Federal Reserve is going too far with its rate-hiking plans as reasons for the weak action.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 82.66 points to close at 23,675.64 after erasing its 300-point rally earlier in the session amid a gain in Goldman Sachs, which posted its first positive day in 10 on Tuesday. Shares of Boeing also rose.
New comments out of Washington appeared to spark the afternoon selling after Senate Majority Lead Mitch McConnell said that a proposed government funding plan was rejected by his Democrat colleagues. The Kentucky Republican proposed an appropriations bill that includes money for border security fencing, as well as what a Senate Democratic aide described as a $1 billion "slush fund" that Trump could use on his immigration policies. Democrats subsequently rejected the deal.
Stock of energy companies fell across the board as oil prices sank more than 7 percent to a 15-month low on Tuesday. Exxon Mobil fell 2.7 percent, Chevron lost 2.4 percent and ConocoPhillips dropped 1.9 percent as the U.S. and Russia continue to pump at record levels ahead of planned output cuts by OPEC and its allies.
A comeback in technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq Composite up 0.4 percent to 6,783.91 as Amazon, Apple and Netflix all traded higher. Facebook stock rallied 2.4 percent while Google-parent Alphabet added 1.7 percent.