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US: Energy weighs on Wall Street as stocks edge lower

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[WASHINGTON] Wall Street's attempted recovery stumbled on Tuesday, with markets losing momentum under pressure from the continued slide in oil prices and a weakened Boeing.

US equities finished mostly lower despite word of more high-level efforts to resolve the US-China trade war. Major tech stocks also foundered.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 per cent to close at 25,286.49 in its third straight negative finish. The S&P 500 gave up 0.2 per cent, ending at 2,722.18

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was essentially flat, at 7,200.87.

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The declines subtracted further from losses in Monday's sell-off.

Oil prices plunged deeper into a bear market, closing down for a 12th consecutive day and posting their steepest declines since 2015.

This pushed Exxon Mobil down 2.3 per cent and rival supermajor Chevron dropped 1.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, Boeing gave up 2.1 per cent, extending losses following a Wall Street Journal report that it allegedly withheld information tied to a flight control feature involved in a fatal crash.

A top White House aide confirmed Tuesday that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will discuss the deteriorating trade relations on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit later this month.

"There is a number of issues hovering over the market: questions regarding global growth, the China-US trade talks and also the US dollar's strength," Quincy Krosby of Prudential Financial told AFP.

She said investors were unnerved by the prospect of continuing interest rate hikes, with the Federal Reserve likely to raise lending rates again next month, which they fear could weaken consumer demand.

"People are looking at the housing market, the vehicle sales and saying, 'the economy can't handle it,'" Ms Krosby said.

Apple sank another one percent, falling even further after Monday's rout, as investors continued to sell the stock on expectations of lower sales.

Amazon lost 0.4 per cent after announcing plans to open corporate outposts in Virginia and New York City.

Troubled engineering giant General Electric, however, had a good day, rising 7.8 per cent after saying it would sell a stake in the oilfield services unit Baker Hughes.

Hardware store chain Home Depot fell 0.2 per cent despite posting better-than-expected earnings and a rosier revenue forecast.

AFP