Energy stocks dove again on Wednesday as oil dropped to its lowest price since last summer.
Gains for health care and technology stocks helped moderate losses for broader market indexes.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 0.1 percent to 2,435.61. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57.11 points to 21,410.03, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 percent to 6,233.95.
“The story truly is energy right now,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
Crude dropped for a third straight day and touched its lowest price since August on expectations that supplies of oil will far outweigh demand. Even a report showing that the amount of supplies in U.S. inventories shrank last week did little to alter the tide.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 2.3 percent, to settle at $42.53 per barrel.
The price of oil has now dropped more than 20 percent this year, breaking into what traders call a bear market.
Accelerating corporate profits and expectations that they’ll continue have been a big reason for the stock market’s rise this year, and energy companies had been forecast to provide some of the biggest gains.