Major Averages Turning In Mixed Performance In Mid-Day Trading

Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday after ending the previous session sharply higher. The major averages are showing only modest moves on the day, holding close to the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Dow is down 35.69 points or 0.1 percent at 33,491.50, the Nasdaq is up 45.61 points or 0.3 percent at 13,751.20 and the S&P 500 is up 3.64 points or 0.1 percent at 4,081.55.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent strength.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both ended Monday’s trading at record closing highs, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq extended last week’s rally to reach its best closing level in well over a month.

A quiet day on the U.S. economic front may also be keeping traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.

Reports on weekly jobless claims, the U.S. trade deficit and producer price inflation may also attract attention in the coming days along with remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off news the International Monetary Fund raised its global growth projections for this year and next, citing huge fiscal stimulus in some big economies and a vaccine-driven recovery in the future.

The world economy is set to grow 6.0 percent this year and 4.4 percent next year, the global lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook report..

In a January update to the WEO, the IMF had projected growth of 5.5 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. The latest projections are also stronger than those in the October WEO report.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although substantial strength has emerged among gold stocks.

Reflecting the strength in the gold sector, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has surged up by 2.4 percent to its highest intraday level in well over a month.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a notable increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June delivery jumping $17 to $1,745.80 an ounce.

Oil service, airline and natural gas stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while networking and banking stocks have moved to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.8 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have rebounded following the pullback seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.3 basis points at 1.667 percent.

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