U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Lower After Early Volatility
After fluctuating early in the session, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages have all moved to the downside, with the Dow showing a particularly steep drop.
In recent trading, the Dow and the S&P 500 have fallen to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 389.56 points or 1.1 percent at 33,913.05, the S&P 500 is down 12.01 points or 0.3 percent at 3,987.08 and the Nasdaq is down 35.31 points or 0.3 percent at 11,043.84.
The weakness on Wall Street comes as traders look to cash in on recent strength in the markets amid lingering concerns about the outlook for the economy and interest rates.
The Dow ended last Friday’s trading at its highest closing level in over a month, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also reached one-month closing highs.
A negative reaction to earnings news from Goldman Sachs (GS) is also weighing on the markets, with the financial giant slumping by 7.0 percent.
The drop by shares of Goldman Sachs comes after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates.
Fellow Dow Component Travelers (TRV) has also plunged by 5.9 percent after warning of weaker than expected fourth quarter earnings due to the significant winter storm that impacted much of the U.S and Canada in late December.
On the other hand, shares of Morgan Stanley (MS) have shown a strong move to the upside after the company reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings.
Adding to the concerns about the economy, the New York Federal Reserve released a report showing a significant contraction in regional manufacturing activity in the month of January.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions plunged to a negative 32.9 in January from a negative 11.2 in December, with a negative reading indicating a contraction. Economists had expected the index to climb to a negative 4.5.
Gold stocks have shown a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 2.8 percent. The index is pulling back off its best closing level in seven months.
The sell-off by gold stocks comes amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal, with gold for February delivery falling $8.40 to $1,913.30 an ounce.
Airline stocks are also giving back ground following recent strength, resulting in a 1.8 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.
Retail, tobacco and computer hardware stocks are also seeing some weakness on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.8 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have bounced back near the unchanged line after seeing early weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 3.518 percent.
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