Wall Street ended lower on Tuesday, snapping a two-day rally as investors watched geopolitical developments and energy shares sank after Brent crude fell to a 13-month low.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell nine points, or 0.06%, to close at 16,561. The S&P 500 ended down three points, or 0.16%, at 1,934. The Nasdaq Composite lost 12 points, or 0.27%, to finish at 4,389.
Investors kept an eye on Russia, which sent a convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. Western officials had been wary of the gesture, fearing Russia would use a humanitarian mission as a cover for invading Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it would hand off the convoy to the Red Cross after crossing the border.
In Iraq, the US ruled out sending combat forces but said it would consider "additional political, economic and security options" to help its new prime minister-designate make the transition into office.
The energy sector index ended down 0.7% in sync with the drop in oil prices. Southwestern Energy Co (SWN.N) shares fell 2.8%, while Consol Energy Inc (CNX.N) shares ended down 2.4%. The two stocks were the biggest losers in the S&P energy index.
Brent crude LCOc1 fell to a 13-month low due to worries about oversupply, even with possible disruptions to Iraq's production at the forefront. US September crude CLc1 also settled lower.
Forest Oil Corp (FST.N) and Comstock Resources Inc (CRK.N) were the S&P 500's two biggest percentage losers, with Forest Oil's shares down 8.5% and Comstock Resources shares down 5%. Chevron Corp (CVX.N) fell 0.5%.
Accessory maker and retailer Kate Spade & Co (KATE.N) plummeted 25.4% in its busiest day of trading ever with 52 million shares changing hands. Kate Spade & Co reported better-than-expected sales, which had helped lift the stock to a seven-year-high at $42.87 in early trading.
The US-listed shares of Canadian biotech company Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp (TKMR.O), which is developing a treatment for the often fatal Ebola virus disease, slid 21.8%.
In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses on Wednesday in morning trade as investors weighed earnings reports and awaited economic data from the region’s biggest economy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1% to 146 as of 10:39 a.m. in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.1%. Japan’s Topix index fluctuated after a report the nation’s economy contracted an annualised 6.8% in the three months through June.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex Index was little changed. Singapore’s Straits Times Index declined 0.3%.