After ending the previous session mostly higher, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the Dow is up 25.84 points or 0.1 percent at 26,677.05, the Nasdaq is down 13.49 points or 0.2 percent at 8,023.81 and the S&P 500 is down 4.37 points or 0.2 percent at 2,920.22.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front.
Lingering uncertainty about trade may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines even after President Donald Trump announced a new trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump praised the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as an “historic transaction” on Monday but also said it is “too early to talk” with China about the escalating trade dispute between the two countries.
“Can’t talk now because they’re not ready,” Trump said of China. “Because they have been ripping us for so many years, it doesn’t happen that quickly.”
He added, “If politically, people force it too quickly, you’re not going to make the right deal for our workers and for our country.”
Reports of the last-minute cancellation of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ trip to China have added to the concerns about rising tensions.
Traders may also be keeping an eye on a Senate Banking Committee hearing on implantation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which rolled back banking regulations imposed after the financial crisis.
A speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Meeting in Boston may attract some attention later in the day.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Gold stocks are seeing substantial strength, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging up by 2.7 percent.
The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery is spiking $17.80 to $1,209.50 an ounce.
Tobacco and utilities stocks have also moved notably higher, while energy stocks are giving back ground along with the price of crude oil.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Tuesday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and inched up by 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.4 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid by 0.8 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are rebounding following the downward move seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3 basis points at 3.050 percent.
by RTTNews Staff Writer
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