NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks recovered from session lows by midafternoon Tuesday, though the energy sector weighed on the major indexes because of plummeting oil prices.
Oil prices plunged ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on Thursday. OPEC will determine whether to cut production to address a supply glut and prices that have been in freefall. Individual meetings between Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico and Russia have failed to come to any solution. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2% to $74.24 a barrel on Tuesday.
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The S&P 500 added 0.03%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.14%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.13%.
Shares were lower earlier in Tuesday's session as third-quarter GDP triggered fears that an economic recovery further along than expected could mean a return to normal monetary policy for the Federal Reserve sooner than forecast. Third-quarter GDP was upwardly revised to 3.9% from an initial reading of 3.5%, topping even the most generous estimates. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a range of 3% to 3.8% with a consensus of 3.3%.
"If the economy is growing, then the Fed's medicine worked," Eric Marshall, portfolio manager for Hodges Mutual Funds. "We've had an unprecedented period of extremely low interest rates that have been in response to soft economic conditions and a high unemployment rate over the last few years."