U.S. stocks ended lower Tuesday afternoon in a quiet day of trading as the summer vacation season comes to an end.
Looking ahead, investors are waiting to see where the Federal Reserve will move interest rates later this year, with the next key piece of data coming later this week with the August jobs report.
ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 48.7 points, about 0.3 percent, at 18,454.3. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 4.3 points, about 0.2 percent, to 2,176.1, and the Nasdaq composite edged down 9.3 points, about 0.2 percent, to nearly 5,223.
OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 64 cents at $46.34 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, was off 86 cents at $48.40 a barrel.
JOBS: Investors are awaiting the Labor Department’s monthly jobs survey on Friday for signs on whether the U.S. economy remains on solid footing. Economists expect employers added 182,500 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8 percent.