U.S. stock indices posted minor declines on Tuesday as gains in materials stocks were offset by heavy declines in the energy sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 12.67 points, or less than 0.1%, to 16,014. The S&P 500 lost 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,852 (the energy sector fell by 2.5%). The Nasdaq Composite fell 14.99 points, or 0.4%, to 4,268.
Small business confidence declined to the lowest level in almost two years in the U.S. in January because of concerns over short-term business conditions outlook. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that the index of small business confidence fell by 1.3 points to 93.9 points in January (the lowest level since February 2014). Nevertheless small businesses remained optimistic about the labor market.
This morning in Asia the Nikkei fell 3.05%, or 491.23, to 15,594.21. Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed due to Lunar New Year.
Japanese stocks continued falling amid concerns over the global economic growth and ongoing declines in oil prices. Meanwhile the yen continued rising harming the country's exporters.