U.S. stocks fell sharply, led by a plummeting energy sector on Tuesday. Reports that the sky-high energy prices may lessen demand and a Goldman Sachs recommendation to begin profit taking, led many investors to take their oil money and run this week. Energy pushed the S&P considerable lower losses, with the S&P Energy Index .GSPE down 3 percent.
For the Dow, the largest percentage loser was Alcoa (NYSE: AA), the first company to release their earnings report. The company fell short of forecasts but profits exceeded expectation. For the day, Alcoa fell 6 percent to $16.70. The first quarter earnings presented by companies over the course of the next several weeks will be sure to determine the course of the market over that period. Google is expected to release its earnings report before Friday.
Materials stocks also fell as metals declined on further nuclear problems in Japan and worries the recovery will be slow. First Majestic Silver Corp.( NYSE:AG) fell close to 10%.
For Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial sank 117.53 points, or 0.95 percent to close at 12,263.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 10.30 points, or 0.78 percent, to 1,314.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 26.72 points, or 0.96 percent to 2,744.79.
Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH), an operator of hospitals was up 21.59 percent for the day, making the company the biggest winner.
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