U.S. stocks fell Tuesday after oil giant BP declared that its most promising effort yet to cap an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico had failed.
Shares of energy companies fell more than any other group as trading resumed after a long holiday weekend. BP declared Saturday that its “top-kill” procedure, aimed at sealing a ruptured wellhead on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, was unsuccessful.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the government was investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against those responsible for what is estimated to be the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
The widening disaster overshadowed some better-than-expected figures from the U.S. construction and manufacturing sectors.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 112.61 points, or 1.11 percent, to 10,024.02. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index dropped 18.7 points, or 1.72 percent, to 1,070.71. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down 34.71 points, or 1.54 percent, to 2,222.33.
The U.S. currency rose against the euro to 81.73 euro cents from 81.52 euro cents on Friday and climbed against the Japanese currency to 91.01 yen from 90.89 yen.