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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2020, file photo James Riley monitors stock prices at the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks stabilized Tuesday, Jan. 7, and the price of oil edged off three-month highs, though investors remained cautious over rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks mostly fell Tuesday, but the big rush for safety that coursed through global markets after the United States killed a top Iranian general Friday slowed.

Gold’s momentum eased a day after touching its highest price in nearly seven years, several Asian and European stock markets clawed back much of their losses from Monday, and benchmark U.S. crude dropped for the first time in four days. The S&P 500 dipped but remains within 0.6 percent of its record, and a measure of fear in the stock market moved lower.

The market’s return to a wait-and-see approach wasn’t that surprising to some investors, even as talk remained tough in the increasingly tense U.S.-Iran confrontation. U.S. officials were preparing for an Iranian response to their drone strike against Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The market may be more focused on the upcoming earnings season for U.S. companies and the forecasts CEOs will give for 2020 profits, said Rich Weiss, senior portfolio manager at American Century Investments. After a year where the S&P 500 surged roughly 30 percent, despite profits for big companies falling, he said investors will need to see more solid growth to justify near-record prices.

The S&P 500 fell 9.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,237.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 119.70, or 0.4 percent, to 28,583.68, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 2.88, or less than 0.1 percent, to 9,068.58.

Energy stocks dropped with the price of crude. Benchmark U.S. oil fell 57 cents to settle at $62.70 per barrel. It had jumped more than $2 per barrel over the last two days. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 64 cents to $68.27 a barrel.

That helped drag Halliburton down 2.8 percent and Chevron down 1.3 percent. Apache was an outlier, and the oil and gas producer surged 26.8 percent for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after it and Total said they found a significant amount of oil off the coast of Suriname.

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