NEW YORK — Disappointing company earnings and falling oil prices pulled stocks back from record highs on Tuesday.
NRG Energy slumped after the company lowered its earnings forecast, leading other power companies lower. News Corp. fell after the media company posted an unexpected revenue decline due to weakness at its Australian newspapers. Energy stocks declined after oil dropped to a five-month low.
Winners included airlines. The gains were led by JetBlue Airways after the Justice Department said it cleared the way for American Airlines and US Airways to merge, creating the world’s biggest airline.
This year’s 24 percent surge in the stock market has slowed in November. The Standard & Poor’s 500 has edged up 0.6 percent this month after an average monthly increase of 1.7 percent in the previous 10 months.
“The market looks tired to us,” said Jim Russell, a regional investment director at US Bank. “A little bit of a pause is actually healthy,” allowing the economy time to catch up to the gains the stock market has made.
After closing at an all-time high on three of the previous four trading days, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 32.43 points, or 0.2 percent, to 15,750.67. The S&P 500 index dropped 4.20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,767.69 points. The Nasdaq composite edged up 0.13 point to 3,919.92.
Six of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 index fell. Banks and utilities slid the most. NRG Energy was one of the biggest decliners in the S&P 500, slipping 98 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $27.06. News Corp. fell 27 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $17.15.
Energy stocks fell broadly. Pioneer Natural Resources, an oil exploration company, dropped $5.63, or 3 percent, to $182.70. Chevron lost $1.20, or 0.9 percent, to $120.
Stocks have climbed this year as the Federal Reserve has maintained its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases to keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing and hiring. Now, investors may start focusing more on an improving economy rather than the future of the Fed’s economic stimulus program