Caterpillar leads Dow lower as a stock rally fades

S&P 500 index falls after four days of setting records; Caterpillar dives on weak earnings

Associated Press
S&P 500 index falls after 4 days of record closes
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Trader Luke Scanlon works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. World stock markets fell Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 hit by slower U.S. hiring and reports of tighter money market conditions in China that could check its economic recovery. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- A four-day streak of record closes is ending for the Standard & Poor's 500 index after Caterpillar reported weak earnings and falling oil prices hurt energy stocks.

Caterpillar, which makes mining and construction equipment, led the Dow Jones industrial average lower after reporting a plunge in third-quarter earnings. That discouraged investors and stalled a two-week surge in the stock market.

Energy stocks dropped as the price of oil fell to its lowest in almost four months.

The S&P 500 fell eight points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,746. The Dow gave up 54 points to close at 15,413 and the Nasdaq composite fell 22 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,907.

More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavier than usual at 3.7 billion shares.

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