Stocks tumbled sharply on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 retreating from a record for a second day, as concerns about the fighting in Iraq and the rise in oil prices overshadowed better-than-expected reports on housing and consumer confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 119 points down and the S&P 500 fell 12 points, after earlier rising to an intraday record of 1967.66. The Nasdaq dropped 18 points. The markets earlier responded to good housing sales data, but turned negative on reports of continued fighting around Iraq's largest oil refinery. Brent crude resumed its upward trend and held above $114 a barrel on Tuesday, supported by the continued fighting in Iraq, supply disruptions in Libya and expectations of a decline in U.S. crude inventories.
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- Kate Gibson, CNBC.com