Major Averages Turn Mixed After Seeing Early Weakness


After an early move to the downside, the major U.S. stock indexes have turned mixed over the course of the trading session on Tuesday. While the Dow has bounced into positive territory, the tech-heavy Nasdaq continues to post a steep loss.

Currently, the Dow is up 95.45 points or 0.3 percent at 33,299.38, while S&P 500 is down 9.43 points or 0.3 percent at 3,835.39 and the Nasdaq is down 110.82 points or 1.1 percent at 10,387.04.

The early weakness on Wall Street partly reflected lingering concerns about the economic outlook amid indications the Federal Reserve plans to continuing raising interest rates.

Selling pressure waned shortly after the start of trading, however, as some traders remain away from their desks following the long Christmas weekend.

A light economic calendar may also be keeping traders on the sidelines, although reports on pending home sales, weekly jobless claims and Chicago-area business activity may attract attention in the coming days.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modes moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Airline stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index plunging by 1.9 percent amid continued flight cancellations due to the severe winter storm.

Significant weakness is also visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Semiconductor stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 1.4 percent.

On the other hand, gold stocks have moved sharply higher on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.1 percent.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a notable increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for February delivery jumping $21.10 to $1,825.30 an ounce.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Tuesday, with several markets still closed for holidays. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.0 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K. markets remained closed, the German DAX Index rose by 0.4 percent and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the downward trend seen over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 10.3 basis points at 3.854 percent.

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