US stocks closed lower on Tuesday, as the market was rocked by renewed fears over a potential recession and investors digested the latest consumer confidence data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 120.93 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 25,777.90. The S&P 500 fell 9.22 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 2,869.16.
The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 26.79 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7,826.95. More than half of the 30 blue-chip stocks in the Dow extended losses around the closing bell, with shares of UnitedHealth Group down over 3.53 per cent, leading the laggards.
Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around market, with the financials sector down 0.7 per cent, leading the losers.
Shares of J.M. Smucker plummeted nearly 8.2 per cent, after the US food manufacturer reported worse-than-expected earnings for the second quarter.
The long-dated US Treasury yields all retreated sharply on Tuesday. The spread between the benchmark 10-year Treasury rate and the 2-year yield posed a worrisome inverted yield curve, widely-regarded as a precursor of a future recession.
On the economic front, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell to 135.1, down from July's rebound at 135.8, said the US business research group on Tuesday.
"Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved further... Expectations cooled moderately, but overall remain strong," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement.
"If the recent escalation in trade and tariff tensions persists, it could potentially dampen consumers' optimism regarding the short-term economic outlook," said Franco.