Stocks Fall on Interest Rate Concerns

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday as rising bond yields fueled concerns about higher interest rates, while a disappointing outlook from Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) tempered optimism about tech spending.

As the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 5.22 percent, investors sold shares of interest-rate sensitive issues including retailers and homebuilders.

Concerns that higher rates could raise borrowing costs and stifle growth prospects also hurt shares of big manufacturers, including Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), while retreating oil prices pressured shares of energy companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM).

"Higher interest rates are what's weighing on the market. Rates are higher than people expected them to be, particularly long-term rates," said Dave Francis, a vice president of equities with Thrivent Asset Management in Appleton, Wisconsin.

"It also doesn't appear short-term rates are going down any time soon. I think there were a lot of folks who didn't expect either of those things and so they are adjusting their expectations and their portfolios."

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 44.13 points, or 0.33 percent, at 13,380.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 6.55 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,502.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 12.81 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,559.34.

Caterpillar shares fell 0.4 percent to $78.43 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock of the heavy equipment maker was the biggest drag on the Dow, while Exxon Mobil weighed on the S&P 500, with a drop of 0.9 percent to $82.34.

Shares of Texas Instruments dropped 2 percent to $35.06 after the chip-maker cut its second-quarter revenue target late on Monday.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) led declines on the Nasdaq with a loss of 0.7 percent to $29.82.

Shares of homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. (SPF) dropped 3.2 percent to $19.24, a day after the home builder posted a 16 percent slide in April and May orders. On Tuesday Citigroup cut the stock's price target to $32 from $37.

The Dow Jones Home Construction Index was down 2.4 percent.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) slipped 0.5 percent to $49.56.

Despite interest rate jitters, a stronger-than-expected profit report from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) helped limit selling among financial stocks, with shares of the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank by market value rising 2.3 percent to $77.42 on the NYSE.