Stocks Closed Lower, S&P, Nasdaq Posted Quarterly Gains

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday, on the heels of a big rally in the last session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 200.19 points, or 1.11%, to 17,776.12. The S&P 500 lost 18.35 points, or 0.88%, to 2,067.89. The Nasdaq Composite fell 46.56 points, or 0.94%, to 4,900.88. All three indexes also posted losses for the month, with the Dow down 2%, S&P 500 down 1.7% and the Nasdaq down 1.3%. For the first quarter, the Dow declined 0.3%, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% and the Nasdaq gained 3.5%.

Oil prices settled lower on Tuesday as traders awaited outcome of the Iranian nuclear talks. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude for delivery in May CLK5, -2.20% settled at $47.60 a barrel, down $1.08, or 2.2% from Monday’s settlement.

Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Richmond Fed, said Tuesday that he expects solid growth and rising inflation this year, and as a result, would urge the U.S. central bank to start raising interest rates relatively soon.

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