After failing to sustain an early upward move, stocks have moved to the downside over the course of morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have pulled back well off their highs of the session and into negative territory.
Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels but still in the red. The Dow is down 35.80 points or 0.1 percent at 33,11.45, the Nasdaq is down 65.22 points or 0.6 percent at 10,401.26 and the S&P 500 is down 12.59 points or 0.3 percent at 3,826.91.
The early strength on Wall Street came as traders looked to the New Year started on a positive note following a dismal 2022.
For last year, the Nasdaq plummeted by 33.1 percent, the S&P 500 plunged by 19.4 percent and the Dow tumbled by 8.8 percent.
Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, with concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the economy continuing to weigh on the markets.
Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant bets ahead of the release of some key economic data later this week, including the closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.
Reports on manufacturing and service sector activity may also attract attention in the coming days along with the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
A report released by the Commerce Department this morning unexpectedly showed a modest increase in U.S. construction spending in the month of November.
The Commerce Department said construction spending crept up by 0.2 percent to an annual rate of $1.808 trillion in November after edging down by 0.2 percent to a revised rate of $1.803 trillion in October.
The uptick surprised economists, who had been expecting construction to decrease by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.3 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.
Energy stocks have come under pressure over the course of the morning, moving sharply lower along with the price of crude oil.
With crude for February delivery tumbling $1.64 to $78.62 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2.4 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 1.9 percent.
A steep drop by the price of natural gas is also weighing on natural gas stocks, dragging the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index down by 1.9 percent.
Semiconductor and chemical stocks have also moved to the downside, while gold stocks have rallied amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged by 1.8 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.2 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have shown a notable rebound following recent weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 10.1 basis points at 3.778 percent.
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