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Market Recap: Stocks Down on Tech Slump

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Markets closed down today:

▼ Dow: -0.65 percent

▼ Nasdaq: -1.00 percent

▼ S&P: -0.81 percent

Precious metals:

▼ Gold: up -1.23 percent to $1,567.45 an ounce

▼ Silver: up -1.81 percent to settle at $26.73

Commodities:

▼ Oil: -2.02 percent

Markets were down because:

Stocks fell for the fourth straight day Tuesday following a profit slump at technology companies and a steep decline in oil prices, which sent energy stocks sharply lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 83.17 points to close at 12,653.12. Aluminum maker Alcoa was the biggest loser in the Dow, giving up 4 percent after reporting a slump in revenue late Monday.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 lost 10.99 points to 1,341.47. The index is in its longest slump since May 18.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices fell sharply after reporting that a slowdown in China and Europe led to an 11 percent drop in second-quarter revenue. The company had previously forecast a gain of 3 percent.

That news sent other technology stocks down hard. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 1 percent, the most of the three major indexes. It closed 29.44 points lower at 2,902.33.

The bad news outweighed hopeful developments in Europe earlier in the day. Before U.S. markets opened, European finance ministers announced they had agreed on the terms of a bailout for Spain's banks. The first installment of $37 billion in aid can be ready by the end of the month.

Investors were concerned that some details seemed to be missing from the plan.

Benchmark crude oil fell $2.08 to $83.91 a barrel in New York. Major energy companies dropped as a result, including Occidental Petroleum, down $1.95 at $83.24, and ConocoPhillips, down 90 cents at $53.43.

Natural gas producers took a hit from a sharp drop in the price of natural gas, which was down 5 percent at $2.74 per 1,000 cubic feet. Cabot Oil & Gas slumped $1.20 to $39.07 and Chesapeake Energy gave up $1.29 cents to $18.69.

Also weighing on commodities was a report from China that import growth fell in half in June from May, a signal its economy may be slowing more than expected. The Chinese economy, the world's second biggest, is growing at its slowest pace since the 2008 financial crisis.

Copper fell 1 percent to $3.40 per pound. China is a big importer of the metal.

In stocks, the selling was broad. Eight of the ten industry groups in the S&P 500 fell. Industrial companies led the declines with a slump of 1.6 percent. Utilities and consumer staples, industries that fare better than others when the economy is struggling, rose slightly.

In Europe, the deal to aid Spain helped push the yield on its benchmark 10-year government bond down to 6.8 percent. On Monday, that country's key borrowing rate surged to 7 percent, a dangerously high level. The lower yield means investors are less fearful about the country having trouble paying its debts.

Portugal, Ireland and Greece all had to ask for help from international lenders after spikes in their own borrowing rates made it unaffordable for them to raise money from selling bonds on the open market. Spain is the largest European country to date to seek international assistance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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