Crude-oil prices weigh on the market

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NYSE Trader Gregory Rowe (left) and specialist John McNierney at the post that handles GE. The stock tumbled $1.12, or 5.9%, to $17.90.

Energy companies led U.S. stocks modestly lower Tuesday, erasing the small gains the market made a day earlier.

The biggest drop in crude oil prices since October weighed on oil producers and other energy stocks. Disappointing results or outlooks from retailers and other companies also weighed on the market.

Utilities and consumer-focused companies like packaged food and beverage makers, restaurant chains, bucked the trend.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.97 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,578.87. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 30.23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,409.47. The Nasdaq composite slid 19.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,737.87. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 3.81 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,471.26.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.06, or 1.9 percent, to settle at $55.70 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the biggest single-day decline since October.

The market's spotlight is on retailers this week, with many of the companies reporting quarterly results over the next few days, including Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores and Best Buy.

On Tuesday, Home Depot turned in better-than-expected results and raised its outlook for the year. Shares in the home-improvement retailer rose $2.71, or 1.6 percent, to $168.06.

Advance Auto Parts vaulted 16.3 percent after the company's latest quarterly earnings exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, climbing $13.44 to $95.72.

Other big retailers failed to impress traders.

TJX Cos., the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, fell 4 percent after it reported revenue and earnings that missed analysts' estimates. Its shares lost $2.82 to $67.94.

Dick's Sporting Goods slid 2.8 percent after the retailer reported a solid quarter but also said its earnings per share could drop as much as 20 percent next year. The stock gave up 73 cents to $25.59.

General Electric was among the market's big movers, sliding sharply for the second straight day after analysts downgraded the industrial conglomerate. On Monday, GE pulled back on profit expectations and slashed its dividend in half. The stock tumbled $1.12, or 5.9 percent, to $17.90 Tuesday. It's now down 43.4 percent this year.

Investors bid up shares in Buffalo Wild Wings following a report that Roark Capital has offered to buy the company for $150 a share, or $2.3 billion. Shares in the restaurant chain soared $28.10, or 24 percent, to $145.35.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.38 percent from 2.41 percent late Monday.

Gold rose $4 to $1,282.90 an ounce. Silver added 3 cents to $17.07 an ounce. Copper fell 5 cents to $3.07 a pound.

The dollar fell to 113.40 yen from 113.57 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1794 from $1.1667.