US stock indexes struggled to a mixed close Tuesday as energy companies fell with the price of oil, overcoming gains in utilities and phone companies. Investors sold household goods makers after a report showed consumers are growing more worried about business and job market conditions. Stocks were lower for most of the day after the Conference Board said consumer confidence fell for the second month in a row and reached its lowest level in six months. In the afternoon stocks fell further following comments from the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates. His remarks suggested there isn't a lot of urgency in addressing a global glut in oil supplies.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 86.09 points, or 0.5%, to 17,787.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.11 points, or 0.1%, to 2,096.95. The Nasdaq composite index gained 14.55 points, or 0.3%, to 4,948.05. But despite the losses, stocks finished May with solid gains.