Stocks hit session lows on Wednesday as Brent and U.S. crude prices spiked following data that showed gasoline and distillate inventories fell much more than forecast last week.
Oil was already rising earlier as fighting intensified in Libya and an OPEC delegate said the group saw no need to hold an emergency meeting to consider raising production.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 31.41 points, or 0.26 percent, to 12,182.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> fell 6.86 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,314.96. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> lost 19.52 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,746.25.