U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Tuesday, ahead of a likely interest rate hike, as energy stocks fell.
The Dow Jones Industrials was still negative 43.76 points to finish at 20,837.72. Chevron had the greatest negative impact on the Dow, with Walt Disney and Wal-Mart having the greatest positive impact.
The S&P 500 was dragged down 8.02 points to 2,365.45, due largely to 1% losses in energy issues.
The NASDAQ faded 18.97 points to 5,856.82
The Federal Open Market Committee is set to begin its two-day meeting Tuesday and is expected to raise rates. Traders will be watching for indications on how many more rate hikes to expect this year.
In economic news, wholesale inflation, as measured by the producer price index, gained 0.3% last month. In the 12 months through February, the PPI jumped 2.2%, the biggest advance since March 2012 and ahead of the 2% gain forecast in an economist poll.
Earlier on Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business said its small business optimism index fell 0.6 points to 105.3 last month.
Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note moved slightly ahead, lowering yields to 2.6% from Monday's 2.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices lost 50 cents to $47.90 U.S. a barrel
Gold prices dropped five dollars to $1,198.10 U.S. an ounce.