Stocks open slightly lower, pulling S&P 500 back from record

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DEVELOPING… Story will be updated as new information can be verified. Updated 3 times

Stocks were modestly lower in quiet trading Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit their latest record highs.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.3%. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks was down 0.2% as well.

Despite the declines, the market is on pace to close out August on a positive note. The S&P 500 is up nearly 3% in August, while the Nasdaq is up 3.75% this month.

Energy prices declined for a second day, as fears of widespread devastation to U.S. oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida appeared be unnecessary. Oil prices were down more than 1%, with similar declines in natural gas prices.

The latest economic data showed once again the impact the delta variant of the coronavirus is having on the economy. Consumer confidence in August fell sharply to a reading of 113.8 compared to a reading of 125.1 in July. Economists has been expecting a reading of 124.0. Most of the decline was tied to the spread of the virus in the past month, which has inundated hospitals with patients and deaths are climbing again.

Investors’ eyes will be turning to key economic data later this week, when the Labor Department releases its August jobs report on Friday. Economists are expecting that U.S. employers created 750,000 jobs last month, according to FactSet, with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.2%.

The bond market was quiet, with the 10-year Treasury note trading at a yield of 1.28%. That’s effectively unchanged from the day before.