Wall Street closed mostly lower on Tuesday, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had its best month since February, as falling crude oil prices dragged energy shares down and offset strong manufacturing data.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 31 points, or 0.18%, to 17,068. The S&P 500 ended down one point at 2,002. The Nasdaq Composite added 18 points, or 0.39%, to end at 4,598.
Energy shares declined after the prospect of slowing demand for oil in China and Europe and concerns about an oversupply of oil brought Brent crude oil futures to their lowest price since 31 May 2013. The strengthening dollar, which rose to its highest this year against the yen, was also seen as weighing on oil prices.
Peabody Energy Corp (BTU.N) was the biggest loser among the S&P energy names, falling 3.7%.
In economic news, US factory activity rose to its highest in nearly 3-1/2 years in August, and construction spending rebounded strongly in July.
Home Depot Inc (HD.N) was the worst performer, falling 2% after CNBC reported that hackers may have stolen credit card data from the company.
Digital Ally Inc (DGLY.O) shares soared 79% as outrage over the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has fuelled interest in the use of wearable cameras by police.
Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) gained 5.3% after Stifel Nicolaus raised its target price for the company's stock to $400.
In deal news, discount retailer Dollar General Corp (DG.N) raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc (FDO.N) by 2% to $80 per share, or $9.1 billion. Family Dollar shares edged up 0.5%, while Dollar General advanced 0.6%.
In Asia, shares gained on Wednesday in morning session as the yen traded near a January low and reports showed faster expansion in China’s service industries.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5% to 149 as of 10:18 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index was poised to erase this year’s loss after the yen touched 105.27 per dollar, the weakest since 10 January.
The Topix rose 0.6%, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe due to appoint a new cabinet and the Bank of Japan beginning a two-day monetary policy meeting.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 1% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.8%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1%.
Taiwan’s Taiex index added 0.5%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index, South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1%.