The US markets closed lower on Tuesday, after the blue-chip index relinquished all the early gains in the sharpest daily reversal in nearly two years. The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon was subpoenaed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify as part of the probe into possible links between Trump associates and Russia. That news deflated some of investors' early enthusiasm.
On the economy front, the Empire State manufacturing survey slipped to 17.7 in January from a revised 19.6 in December. This is the third straight monthly decline after the index hit 28.1 in October. The new-orders index and shipments gauges fell in January. The new-orders index fell 7 points to 11.9, and the shipments index fell 9 points to 14.4. Unfilled orders and inventory indexes rose. The index for future inventories jumped to a record high, suggesting firms expect to build inventories significantly in coming months. Despite the slowdown, the index remains at a level associated with solid growth, continuing a pattern in place over the past year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 10.33 points or 0.04 percent to 25,792.86, the Nasdaq dropped 37.062 points or 0.51 percent to 7,224.00, and the S&P 500 edged lower by 9.82 points or 0.35 percent to 2,776.42.