NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were modestly lower, pulled down by energy companies as signs of an impending rate hike from the Federal Reserve pushed safe-haven assets such as the U.S. dollar higher and crude oil prices lower.
The S&P 500 was down 0.39%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.39%, and the Nasdaq slipped 0.34%.
Energy was the worst-performing sector as West Texas Intermediate crude traded at a five-week low. The commodity was under pressure as the U.S. dollar continued its run higher on signs the Fed would hike rates as key international markets such as the eurozone introduce their own monetary stimulus. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.1% to $56.90 a barrel.
Benchmark indexes recorded their biggest gains in two weeks on Wednesday, snapping back from a selloff on Tuesday. The Nasdaq notched a new record high as technology stocks rallied. Click here for more.
John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, joined a chorus of Fed members and economists who expect a rate hike this year if the economy continues to improve as expected. Speaking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, voting member Williams said he expects growth of 2% and unemployment under 5% this year.
Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, a non-voting member, will give a speech on monetary policy in Helena, Mont., at 2:45 p.m. EDT on Thursday.