After moving to the downside early in the session, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages have climbed off their early lows and are currently little changed.
Currently, the major averages are on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq is down 9.15 points or 0.1 percent at 15,256.74, the Dow is up 44.75 points or 0.1 percent at 35,444.59 and the S&P 500 is up 1.42 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 4,530.21.
Profit taking contributed to the early weakness on Wall Street after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended Monday’s trading at new record closing highs.
Selling pressure remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders seemed worried about missing out on further upside.
Traders may also be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.
Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Conference Board showing a substantial deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of August.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index tumbled to 113.8 in August from a downwardly revised 125.1 in July.
Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to drop to 123.0 from the 129.1 originally reported for the previous month.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the index slumped to its lowest level since hitting 95.2 in February of 2021.
“Concerns about the Delta variant—and, to a lesser degree, rising gas and food prices—resulted in a less favorable view of current economic conditions and short-term growth prospects,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
She added, “While the resurgence of COVID-19 and inflation concerns have dampened confidence, it is too soon to conclude this decline will result in consumers significantly curtailing their spending in the months ahead.”
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Steel stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, however with the NYSE Arca Steel Index falling by 1.5 percent.
On the other hand, airline stocks have moved notably higher, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 1.3 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly lower after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.9 basis points at 1.304 percent.
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