NEW YORK -- Investors are hoping for a Wall Street turnaround today.
A four-day streak of record closes for the Standard & Poor's 500 index ended yesterday after Caterpillar reported weak earnings and falling oil prices hurt energy stocks.
Caterpillar, which makes mining and construction equipment, is considered an important barometer of the global economy. The plunge in Caterpillar's third-quarter profit discouraged investors and stalled a two-week surge in the stock market. Energy stocks dropped as the price of oil fell to its lowest in almost four months.
The S&P 500 fell eight points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,746, ending its longest streak of record closes since mid-May. Energy stocks fell the most of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500. The price of oil slipped $1.44, or 1.5 percent, to $96.86 a barrel, on higher supplies of U.S. oil and weak demand for fuel.
In other trading yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 54points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,413. And the Nasdaq composite dropped 22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,907, ending a five-day streak of higher closes.