U.S. stocks snapped three consecutive days of gains, weighed by falling oil prices and disappointing earnings from Wal-Mart. Shartia Brantley reports.
U.S. stocks lost steam after a three-day rally, ending the day lower. Oil prices fell after a report showed U.S. crude inventory levels rose last week, but stability may be in sight. Standard Financial's Peter Cardillo: SOUNDBITE: PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, STANDARD FINANCIAL, SAYING: " I think, oil prices have made a bottom. I'm not sure we're going to get to $45 or $50 real quick, but, I think, the fact that there's movement now within OPEC, especially the fact that Saudi Arabia is now joining in with the rest of the members who have been calling to stabilize oil prices." Wal-Mart reported a lower quarterly profit and gave a lackluster sales outlook, sending shares lower. IBM shares were higher after an analyst upgrade and news the company bought Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. Shares of satellite TV provider Dish fell after it reported lower net income and lost subscribers. Jack in the Box shares plummeted after the fast food chain posted lower than expected earnings, citing increased competition. Fewer Americans signed up for unemployment benefits last week, and a separate report showed manufacturing activity remains sluggish. European markets ended the day mixed as gains in tech stocks were offset by a decline in energy and mining stocks.