Wall Street was lower on Tuesday, after bouncing between gains and losses in a choppy session, as the beaten-down energy and financials stocks fell further and a rebound in technology faded.
Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with energy down 2.9 percent and financials off 0.9 percent.
Benchmark Brent crude prices were down 5 percent. The continued slide in oil prices has roiled energy stocks and also weighed on the broader market for most of this year.
But, the financial sector has taken the biggest beating this year, falling 15 percent, as fears of a recession compounded concern about banks' exposure to the energy sector and expectations that interest rates are unlikely to rise quickly.
"We're starting to feel some of the knock on effects from energy and distress in those markets," said Steven Baffico, chief executive officer at Four Wood Capital Partners in New York.
"Over the last couple of days, that's spread into the financial system. It's difficult to find a lot of momentum to the upside for any sustained period of time," he said.
U.S. stock indexes have struggled for most of 2016, falling sharply in the previous two sessions, on increasing worries of a sustained global slowdown and falling oil prices.
At 12:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 79.96 points, or 0.5 percent, at 15,947.09.
The S&P 500 was down 8.99 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,844.45. The index is down 13.18 percent from its record high in May through Monday's close.
The Nasdaq Composite index was down 23.59 points, or 0.55 percent, at 4,260.17. The index has fallen 18.12 percent from its record in July through Monday's close.
Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft gave up early gains to trade down about 1 percent.
Chevron, down 3.5 percent, and Exxon, off 1.7 percent, weighed heavily on the S&P and the Dow. JPMorgan and Citigroup, both down 1.7 percent, led the decline in bank stocks.
Viacom tumbled 15.4 percent, set for its worst day in more than 7 years, and Twenty-First Century Fox dropped 3 percent after the two media companies posted lower-than-expected revenue.
Other media stocks also fell. Disney, scheduled to report after the close, was off 1.3 percent. Investors will watch for its ESPN subscriber trends.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.