Wall Street ended the session mostly higher as Wall Street recovered from a Trump-Russia bombshell that briefly tanked markets shortly before midday.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.08% on Tuesday, July 11, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up very slightly, by less than 0.01%, and the Nasdaq added 0.27%.
Earlier in the day, Donald Trump Jr., the president's first-born son confirmed that he had met with a Russian attorney in a string of emails posted to Twitter. In emails, Trump's former Russian business partner told Trump Jr. that a meeting with a Russian attorney would include "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate Hillary" Clinton. He also said this was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Trump Jr.'s emails support a New York Times article posted near simultaneously.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently conducting an investigative probe into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Several intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia had interfered with the 2016 U.S. election by, among other things, posting misinformation against Democratic candidate Clinton.
"There's a real question about the political ability of the Trump administration to push through any of its policy priorities," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, told TheStreet.
He continued, "We've already seen Congress not be as functional as had been hoped and the White House really, despite some challenges, has been more organized. Now the Trump Jr. news really calls that into question. If that really takes out the White House's ability to move the ball forward economically, that's a bad thing from a market perspective."
The Senate will delay its August recess until the third week of the month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. The delay allows the Senate extra time to come to a consensus on a healthcare bill and make progress on the debt ceiling and tax legislation.
Crude oil prices sprung higher Tuesday after spending much of the earlier session in the red. Gains added to a rally on Monday, July 10, as investors grew optimistic ahead of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries later this month. Major oil-producing countries are set to meet to discuss current production limits on July 24. Nigeria and Libya could participate in production cuts after the two were invited to attend that meeting.
The Energy Information Administration reduced its price forecasts for West Texas Intermediate over the next two years. The U.S. agency said expects crude to end the year at $48.95 a barrel, 3.6% lower than its previous forecast in June, and $49.58 for 2018, down 7.5% from earlier guidance.
Prices had been under pressure earlier Tuesday after the International Energy Agency forecast a 53% increase in shale investments in 2017, growth that would add more weight to the global supply-demand imbalance. In its monthly report, the IEA said the largest planned increase in upstream spending this year in percentage terms came from the U.S., particularly in "shale assets that have benefited from a reduction in break-even prices as a result of a combination of improvement in costs and efficiency gains."
West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.4% to $45.04 a barrel on Tuesday.