NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks have recovered from session lows on Tuesday, though the S&P 500 and Nasdaq remained lower and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered near the flat-line as energy stocks declined amid falling oil prices. Sector heavyweights Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) fell 0.65% and 1%, respectively, after Saudi Arabia cut sales prices to the U.S. a day earlier.
"If the oil price is down because it's a waning economic growth story globally, then that's a concern for investors," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist for Voya Investment Management, in a phone call. "If it continues to go down due to waning global growth (and therefore, deflationary), that would spell trouble for corporate earnings and for the economy as a whole."
Prices for West Texas Intermediate slumped 1.9% to $77.28 a barrel and Brent crude slid 1.9% to $83.17 a barrel after Saudi imports for December delivery were slashed 45 cents from a month earlier. The Energy Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund (XLE) tumbled 2.1%.
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Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. markets are doing in midday trading Tuesday:
The S&P 500 slid 0.35% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.43%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average pared earlier losses and moved in and out of positive territory.
Adding to global growth concerns, the European Commission tempered its expectations for the eurozone through 2016 on continued deflation concerns and unemployment woes. The body cut its forecast for growth next year to 1.1% from 1.7% with significantly lowered estimates for the region's two largest economies, Germany and France.