U.S. stocks retreated Tuesday on grim news from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, before recovering some of those losses in the last 30 minutes of trading.
The first round of selling began in the wake of a weaker-than-anticipated U.S. retail sales report for January, with auto sales rising, but only because prices were cut.
A second round of selling came after Eurozone officials called off a crucial meeting in Brussels -- which was expected to give the green light for a 130 billion euro ($170.9 billion) bailout for Greece -- prompted by the continued failure of Greece's coalition government partners to commit to the bailout's tough terms. But near the end of trading, one key government coalition partner who had criticized the bailout terms confirmed his support, boosting equities.
Here's a look at how the markets reacted:
Stocks. Equities were mixed. The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,878.28, up 4.24, or 0.03 percent. The Nasdaq Composite settled up 0.44, or 0.02 percent, to 2,931.83. The wider S&P 500 Index dropped 0.09 percent to 1,350.50.
Bonds. Treasury bonds lured investors who were looking for a safe haven. The price of the 10-year Treasury went up and its yield, a widely used benchmark for loans, dropped to 1.92 percent. The yield on the 30-year bond slipped to 3.07 percent.
Commodities. Commodities were mixed. Light, sweet crude oil for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 13 cents higher, at $100.86 a barrel, after reaching an earlier high of $101.84 a barrel. Natural gas futures rallied sharply as bargain hunters stepped in to buy contracts that are still the cheapest in 10 years. Gold for April delivery declined $7.20 in its third consecutive losing session.
Foreign Exchange. The dollar rose to its highest level since November against the Japanese yen after the Bank of Japan made a surprise move to expand its asset-purchase program. The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, closed higher at 79.5, while the euro fell to the lowest point in more than a week.