U.S. stocks closed lower Monday, extending losses for a second straight session, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to pare losses in afternoon trading after tumbling more than 160 points at the open. Nearly all 10 sectors, save energy, in the S&P 500 closed lower Tuesday, as declines were led by technology and heathcare.
Notable companies reporting quarterly earnings after the closing bell Tuesday include Godaddy Inc., the world's largest website registrar, which went public in April.
The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 36.94 points, or 0.20 percent, to close at 18,068. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) lost 6.21 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 2,099. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 17.38 points, or 0.35 percent, to finish at 4,976.
Economists are looking ahead to the Commerce Department's retail sales report for April, which comes out Wednesday. Sales rebounded in March, snapping three straight months of declines due to harsh winter weather. Wall Street forecasts April's retail sales to increase 0.2 percent, down from a 0.9 percent gain in March, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Retailers reporting quarterly earnings this week include Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. on Wednesday, followed by Nordstrom Inc. and Kohl's Corporation on Thursday.
Meanwhile, shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) soared 18 percent Tuesday to close at $50.55 after Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) announced it is buying the company for $4.4 billion. Shares of Verizon, the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, dipped 0.3 percent to close at $49.62.
Dow components Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) were among the largest decliners in the blue-chip index Tuesday, falling 1.3 percent and nearly 1 percent, respectively. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the world’s largest retailer, was the biggest gainer in the Dow, adding just over 1 percent.