Sharp drops in materials and energy shares led to a broad decline in the stock market on Tuesday. The price of crude oil continued to fall, and the US benchmark for crude remained near its lowest level in seven years. Mining stocks in particular were hurt by weak economic news from China, a major importer of raw materials. Freeport-McMoran slumped 7%. It's down 71% this year.
But indexes clawed back some of an early drop and finished only moderately lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 162 points, or 0.9%, to 17,568. It was down 245 earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up 13 points, or 0.7%, to 2,063. The Nasdaq composite slipped three points, or 0.1%, to 5,098. (Read more stock market stories.)