Stocks slid on Tuesday, pressured by euro weakness that raised concerns about the impact on technology companies' sales and by worries over Europe's debt problems.
Helping cushion the Dow's decline, though, were shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc -- up 3 percent at $54.29 after earnings topped Wall Street's estimates. Wal-Mart's international growth offset a drop in U.S. same-store sales.
Shares of technology companies, which tend to rely heavily on overseas sales, led losses. Intel Corp shares dropped 2.2 percent to $21.53. Shares of Dow component Hewlett-Packard tumbled 0.7 percent to $47.19, reversing the morning's gain before the computer and printer maker's earnings, set for release after the closing bell.
An index of semiconductor shares <.SOXX> lost 2.1 percent.
It's a one-two punch: First is continuing concern
over the euro and continuing concern over the viability of the (European) Union, and then second, is rotation out of large-cap tech, said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Adding to the downbeat trend were shares of Fidelity National Information Services Inc . The stock slid 5.5 percent to $27.29 after it confirmed that talks regarding the company's sale have ended, and that the payment processor plans to borrow heavily to buy back shares.
On Monday, Blackstone Group LP , TPG Capital LP and Thomas H. Lee Partners dropped their joint bid for Fidelity because of disagreement over price, sources said. Blackstone was down 1.9 percent at $11.85.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 33.11 points, or 0.31 percent, at 10,592.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 6.86 points, or 0.60 percent, at 1,130.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 23.43 points, or 1.00 percent, at 2,330.80.
Stocks had opened higher as a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers in Brussels to iron out wrinkles in a 750-billion-euro rescue plan helped to curb fears that the region's debt crisis could spread. But the euro quickly resumed its downward move.
Chris Burba, a short-term market technician at Standard & Poor's in New York, said stocks are in a correction within a cyclical bull market, and said they could stay there until the end of August or later.
He puts resistance on the S&P 500 at 1,217-1,183 and support at 1,045-1,036, and said trading will likely be volatile over the coming weeks.
Another factor helping to support stocks came from economic data this morning with a report that U.S. housing starts rose more than expected to touch their highest level since October 2008. But permits hit a six-month low.
The Dow Jones U.S. home construction index <.DJUSHB> rose 0.3 percent.
In another look at the economy, the Labor Department said the overall U.S. Producer Price Index dipped in April, confirming that inflation remained contained.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal.)