US stocks ended Tuesday’s trading session near their lows of the day, with several major sectors facing heavy declines.
The S&P 500 index ended the day down 0.66 per cent to 2,437.2, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.28 per cent to 21,467.5.
Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners, with the S&P 500 energy index sliding 1.25 per cent as US crude oil fell into the first bear market since last summer. But the consumer discretionary, industrial and telecommunications sectors all experienced falls of greater than 1 per cent as well.
Investors rotated towards areas of the market that are typically seen as defensive because of the insulation they provide during market tumult. Healthcare and utilities both posted gains, while consumer staples ended marginally in the red.
Treasury yields fell as investors bid up the haven assets. The 10-year yield was off 0.032 percentage point at 2.157 per cent, while the two-year yield dipped 0.012 pp to 1.344 per cent.
Technology stocks were also in focus, with volume on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite running about 40 per cent above the 30-day average, according to Bloomberg data. The gauge ended the day down 0.82 per cent to 6,188.