Stocks ended the day lower on Tuesday as crude oil prices rebounded and a 4.7 percent decline in heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. weighed on the Dow.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.95, or 0.8 percent, to close at 10,405.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 8.92, or 0.8 percent, to 1,165.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 18.64, or 0.9 percent, to 1,973.88.


Crude oil prices rose in afternoon trading, with a barrel of light crude settling at $54.23, up 18 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Caterpillar Inc. led the decliners on the Dow, tumbling $4.42 to $89.80 after a Morgan Stanley analyst said the stock was fairly valued and the construction equipment sector strong, recommending investors take profits in the group.


Among local movers, shares of Center Financial Corp. gained 6.4 percent to close at $18.26 after an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. released a report that said the recently reported L.A.-based bank holding company's accounting "material weakness" was related to regulatory timing issues and not indicative of a lack of internal control at the company. The report, which reiterated the equity firm's "outperform" stock rating, followed an announcement last week by Center Financial that its auditors had identified a "material weakness" in its internal controls.


VCA Antech Inc. rose 2.1 percent to $20.58 after the L.A.-based animal healthcare services company's stock was rated "outperform" in new coverage by Piper Jaffray & Co. The price target was set at $24 per share.


On the down side, shares of j2 Global Communications Inc. plunged 16.6 percent to close at $33.57 after the L.A.-based telecom firm's stock was downgraded to "equalweight" from "overweight" by Pacific Growth Equities. The firm cited concerns that a tax on assigned telephone numbers might be introduced, hurting the company's profitability.


The news was announced after the market close. During earlier trading, Tetra Tech shares fell 2.7 percent to $14.99.

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