U.S. Close Modestly Lower But Off Worst Levels Of The Day

After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks regained ground over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but still closed in negative territory.

The Dow slid 104.41 points or 0.3 percent to 33,066.96, giving back ground after ending the previous session at a record closing high. The Nasdaq edged down 14.25 points or 0.1 percent to 13,045.39 and the S&P 500 fell 12.54 points or 0.3 percent to 3,958.55.

The early weakness on Wall Street came as treasury yields extended the strong upward move seen on Monday, weighing on high-growth technology stocks.

The yield on the benchmark ten-year note climbed to its highest level in over a year amid optimism about the coronavirus vaccine rollouts and the economy reopening as well as President Joe Biden’s soon to be announced infrastructure plan.

However, yields pulled back over the course of the trading day, leading to the subsequent recovery attempt by stocks on Wall Street.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing consumer confidence skyrocketed by much more than anticipated in the month of March.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index spiked to 109.7 in March from a downwardly revised 90.4 in February.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 96.0 from the 91.3 originally reported for the previous month.

With the much bigger than expected increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020.

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, moving sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal.

With gold for June delivery plunging $28.60 to $1,686 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index tumbled by 3.8 percent.

Considerable weakness was also visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 1.2 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.

On the other hand, airline stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the session, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 4.1 percent.

Banking stocks also showed a strong move to the upside on the day, resulting in a 2.1 percent jump by the KBW Bank Index.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index surged up by 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries climbed well off their early lows, ending the session nearly unchanged. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by less than a basis point to 1.726 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to a report on private sector employment, as the markets will be closed when the Labor Department releases its more closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

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