U.S. stocks dipped in light volume on Tuesday as lingering concerns about a slowdown in growth more than offset gains in energy shares.
Investors kept trimming large-cap technology positions, pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lower.
The S&P's energy sector index <.GSPE> rose 1.3 percent, while its industrials index <.GSPI> slipped 0.6 percent, sending the market down for a second day. Sectors associated with cyclical growth have suffered recently, with industrials down more than 5 percent so far this month.
I don't see any strong positive momentum, said Kim Caughey Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
The S&P 500 closed at its lowest level in over a month and ended below its 50-day moving average for a second straight day. The 50-day MA, now at 1,324.59, could turn into a hurdle for the benchmark to reestablish a strong uptrend.
Following much weaker-than-expected New York and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing surveys last week, the Richmond Fed survey showed on Tuesday that manufacturing in the central Atlantic region stalled in May after expanding for seven months.
We don't really have jobs strengthening. We have the economic indicators getting softer and we're heading into the summer, Forrest said.
Energy shares were helped by a near 2 percent rise in U.S. and Brent crude futures. Oil rallied after Goldman Sachs raised its forecast price for the commodity and as the euro erased some of the previous day's losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 25.05 points, or 0.20 percent, to 12,356.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 1.09 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,316.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 12.74 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,746.16.
Gold miners' stocks advanced as bullion rose to its highest in about three weeks on concerns about a spreading debt crisis in the euro zone.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc
Volume was light, with roughly 6.6 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, below last year's estimated daily average of 8.47 billion.
Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of about 8 to 7, while on the Nasdaq, about eight stocks fell for every five that rose.
Shares of Russian Internet company Yandex NV
Yandex raised $1.3 billion in its IPO on Monday by selling 52.2 million shares for $25 each. The offering valued the company at about $8 billion.
Yandex shares closed at $38.84 -- up 55.4 percent.
The U.S. Treasury is expected to sell 15 percent of its stake in American International Group Inc
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos)