NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were unable to hold on to even slight gains by the close Tuesday.
The market pulled back after a rally in crude oil was overshadowed by uncertainty over Greece and surging bond yields triggered a selloff among utilities.
The S&P 500 closed down 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.16%, and the Nasdaq slipped 0.13%.
Bond yields rose to a two-week high on Tuesday with 10-year notes yields jumping to 2.27%. U.S. yields were supported by a rise in European yields triggered by better-than-expected consumer inflation data and optimism ahead of Friday's jobs report.
Utilities, often viewed as a lower-risk, low-growth equities alternative to bonds, sold off on the spike in yields. ConEdison (ED) - Get Report, FirstEnergy (FE) - Get Report, and PG&E Corporation (PCG) - Get Report were all lower, while the Utilities SPDR ETF (XLU) - Get Report fell 1.4%.
European equity markets closed lower on Tuesday after Greece submitted its latest list of reforms to creditors, though sources have told Reuters that the plan offers no major new concessions. Leaders of Germany, France and a number of Greece's other international creditors said on Monday they would work with "real intensity" to seal a deal to prevent Athens from defaulting.
Trouble in Greece is reaching a boiling point as the debt-ravaged country faces a repayment to the International Monetary Fund on Friday of 300 million euros ($329 million). In total, Greece needs to repay the IMF nearly 1.6 billion euros ($1.75 billion) this month.
"The negotiations between the Greek government and the official lenders remain in a state of flux," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note. "A full solution appears unlikely at this stage."
The Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries is expected to keep production at record highs when members meet on Friday. OPEC has a target of 30 million barrels per day and major player Saudi Arabia is currently producing oil at record levels.
"The current reality is still characterized by considerable oversupply, which is likely to be confirmed initially by OPEC's decision on Friday," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note. "We therefore envisage short-term correction potential."
Uncertainty over OPEC's meeting didn't impede crude oil's run to its highest close of 2015 on Tuesday as investors hoped weekly data out Wednesday would show a drop in domestic crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.8% to $61.26 a barrel.
Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard struck a dovish tone in her first speech on monetary policy.
"Consumer spending so far this year has been undeniably weak," said Brainard in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "I think there is value to watchful waiting while additional data help clarify the economy's underlying momentum in the face of the headwinds from abroad."
The Fed will meet on June 16-17 to discuss monetary policy. Brainard always has a vote in her role as a governor.
Factory orders in April declined 0.4%, a disappointing result after jumping 2.1% in March. Economists had expected the measure to remain unchanged.
Macy's (M) - Get Report shares shot higher after Reuters reported several hedge funds had asked the retailer to consider options for its real estate. Suggestions included selling some locations and leasing them back. TheStreet previously covered the company's consideration of what to do with its real estate portfolio.
Intel (INTC) - Get Report dragged on the Dow, falling 2.1% after BMO Capital downgraded the chipmaker to "market perform." BMO analysts said they believe Altera (ALTR) - Get Report is worth less than what Intel paid for the company. Click here for more.
U.S. car and light truck sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.79 million in May, according to Autodata. That marked its highest level since July 2005.
Ford (F) - Get Report shares were lower despite sales in May falling at a slower-than-expected pace. Auto sales slid 1.3% to 250,813 units in May, a far narrower drop than an expected 3.3% decline. General Motors (GM) - Get Report added 0.1% after reporting a 3% increase in U.S. auto sales, compared to an expected 1% decline. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report reported a 4% increase in U.S. auto sales to 202,227 units. Analysts expected sales to increase 2.6%.