U.S. Stocks Mostly Positive In Afternoon Trading

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Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday, although the Dow continues to buck the uptrend. The broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 have climbed firmly into positive territory.

While the Nasdaq is up 96.56 points or 1 percent at 9,970.72 and the S&P 500 is up 17.79 point or 0.6 percent at 3,071.03, the Dow has bounced back and forth across the unchanged line and is currently down 55.41 points or 0.2 percent at 25,540.39.

A notable pullback by shares of Boeing (BA) is weighing on the Dow, with the aerospace giant slumping by 6.2 percent after spiking by 14.4 percent on Monday.

The drop by Boeing comes after Norwegian Air said it cancelled orders for 97 aircraft made by the aerospace giant.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is benefiting from significant strength among semiconductor stocks. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has surged up by 2 percent.

Micron Technology (MU) has helped to lead the sector higher after the chip maker reported fiscal third quarter results that exceeded estimates and provided upbeat revenue guidance.

Gold stocks have also shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.8 percent.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for August delivery jumping $19.70 to $1,800.90 an ounce.

Software, telecom and banking stocks are also seeing considerable strength in afternoon trading, while airline stocks continue to see notable weakness.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a bigger than expected improvement in consumer confidence in the month of June.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 98.1 in June from a downwardly revised 85.9 in May.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 90.0 from the 86.6 originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report released by MNI Indicators showed a continued contraction in Chicago-area business activity in the month of June.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer rose to 36.6 in June from 32.3 in May, but a reading below 50 still indicates a contraction in regional business activity. Economists had expected the index to jump to 45.0.

Traders are also keeping an eye on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In prepared remarks, Powell noted that output and employment remain far below their pre-pandemic levels and cautioned that the outlook for the economy is “extraordinarily uncertain.”

“A full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said.

He added, “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.”

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index rose by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have turned lower over the course of the session after seeing initial strength. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2 basis points at 0.656 percent.

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