Stocks Closed Lower as Dollar Weakened

U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, as the dollar pulled back in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s charge that a strong dollar is hurting the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 58.96 points, or 0.30%, to 19,826.77. The S&P 500 was down 6.75 points, or 0.30%, to 2,267.89. The Nasdaq Composite fell 35.39 points, or 0.63%, to 5,538.73.

President-elect Donald Trump’s shock comment that the dollar is too strong suggests the U.S. is about to declare as dead a two-decade policy of publicly favoring a strong currency.

The dollar, which appreciated about 5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, has been drifting sideways since the start of the year.

Oil prices gave up the bulk of their earlier gains Tuesday after a U.S. government report showed that domestic shale-oil production is expected to climb in February. February West Texas Intermediate crude rose 11 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $52.48 a barrel. March Brent turned lower by the settlement to finish down 39 cents, or 0.7%, at $55.47 a barrel.

Following Donald Trump’s meeting with the CEOs of Monsanto and Bayer last week, the president-elect’s transition team says the companies will increase research and development spending in the U.S. and keep Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis.

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