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Higher interest rates and oil prices send stocks lower

Specialist Meric Greenbaum, left, and trader Gregory Rowe

Specialist Meric Greenbaum, left, and trader Gregory Rowe work on the floor of the NYSE on Sept. 14. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Major indexes finished mostly lower Tuesday as rising interest rates hurt stocks that pay big dividends and higher oil prices pushed transportation and shipping companies lower. The S&P 500 index fell for the third day in a row.

Oil prices continued to rise after a weekend meeting of OPEC and its allies ended without an increase in oil production. That helped energy companies, but pressured airlines and other companies that will have to pay more for fuel. Higher oil prices can also ripple through the economy and increase inflation, which helped push interest rates higher this week.

On Wednesday the Federal Reserve is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year. Investors will be focusing on the Fed's economic projections and Chairman Jay Powell's press conference afterward.

"He'll want to say as little as possible about tariffs, about fiscal policy, and say as little as possible about any advice the president may be giving him and the Federal Reserve about how to run monetary policy," said David Kelly, chief global strategist for JPMorgan Funds. But Kelly said the reporters will likely probe Powell's views on all of those topics.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent to 2,915.56. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 69.84 points to end at 26,492.21. The Nasdaq composite added 0.2 percent, closing at 8,007.47. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 0.2 percent to 1,708.80.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.10 percent from 3.07 percent a day earlier. -- AP

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