NEW YORK -- The stock market pulled back slightly Tuesday, following two days of gains, as investors focused on the damage that ongoing geopolitical tensions were causing the global economy.
Energy stocks were among the biggest decliners, dragged down by lower oil prices.
U.S. stock indexes opened modestly higher but turned lower at mid-morning and stayed there for the rest of the day. Investors took a cue from Europe, where Germany’s benchmark index fell more than 1 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell nearly 1 percent.
An indicator of German investor confidence dropped to its lowest level in 20 months. Investors worried that the Ukraine crisis will start dragging down the German economy, Europe’s largest. The continent is much more exposed to Russia than the U.S. is. Europe also gets most of its natural gas from Russia.
The Ukraine situation has dragged the German stock market down more than 8 percent from its early July peak.
"The Ukraine-Russia situation may be at a standstill politically, but it is weighing on the German economy and, more broadly, the eurozone," said Sean Lynch, a managing director at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
It has been a quiet week for investors overall, with little economic data or company earnings to work through. Absent hard data to pull the market higher, the current trend for the market is down, Lynch said.