U.S. Stocks Fail to Hold Gains

U.S. stocks closed mildly lower on Tuesday as investors eyed continued gains in oil and the dollar ahead of the unofficial start of earnings season on Wednesday.

The major indices gave back their gains in the minutes before the close to end slightly lower.  “Obviously the Russell was pressuring them all afternoon, then they gave up one at a time,” said Art Cashin, head of floor operations for UBS.  The Russell 2000 closed down about half a percent at 1,254.56.

“I expected selloff in the afternoon,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. “The market went up for no reason other than energy stocks were strong and that was due to oil.”