Worries over the next rate hike superseded joy over the four-day rally in crude oil, sending stocks into the red and away from their record highs. The chances of a September rate hike rose after hawkish commentary from the New York and Atlanta Federal Reserve presidents. Oil prices settled at a one-month high on hopes over an output freeze among OPEC members when they meet in September. The crude rally brought the energy sector big gains with major producers Shell, Total and BP all in the green. Micro-cap StemCells (STEM) rocketed higher after announcing a merger with Israel-based private company Microbot Medical. The companies will join forces to develop robotics-based medical devices. TJX Companies (TJX) fell after issuing a gloomy current-quarter outlook. The owner of retailer TJ Maxx said its earnings guidance was based on the assumption wages will increase.
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