[NEW YORK] US stocks eased on Tuesday as a jump in bond yields hit utilities and other top dividend payers, but energy gains and optimism Greece is near a deal with creditors limited losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.43 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 18,011.94, the S&P 500 lost 2.13 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,109.6 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.40 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 5,076.52.
The S&P utility index fell 1.4 per cent, leading losses among S&P sectors, after US long-dated Treasury debt yields rose to two-week highs. Utilities and other dividend paying shares tend to compete with bonds as investments.
Energy shares gained along with oil prices. The S&P energy index rose 0.5 per cent, leading the day's gainers. "Today the utilities are way underperforming, obviously because people are thinking rates are going to go up sooner rather than later," said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners in New York.
Greece's creditors drafted the broad lines of an agreement to put to the leftist government in Athens in a bid to conclude four months of acrimonious negotiations and unlock aid. "I don't think Greece is going to be the thing that upsets this market," Mr Landesman said.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,648 to 1,385, for a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,594 issues rose and 1,149 fell for a 1.39-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 3 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 42 new lows.
About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, below the 6.3 billion daily average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.