U.S. Stocks Close Mixed Following Lackluster Session

The major U.S. stock indexes moved to the upside early in the session on Tuesday but turned mixed over the course of the trading day. While the Dow managed to end the day in positive territory, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 moved to the downside.

The major averages finished the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow rose 95.83 points or 0.3 percent to 36,398.21, but the Nasdaq fell 89.54 points or 0.6 percent to 15,781.72 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.84 points or 0.1 percent to 4,786.35 after reaching a record intraday high.

The lackluster performance on Wall Street came as traders seemed somewhat reluctant to continue making significant moves following the recent strength in the markets.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on weekly jobless claims, pending home sales and Chicago-area business activity in the coming days.

At the same time, traders largely refrained from cashing in on recent gains amid easing concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Helping offset worries about the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the recommended isolation time to for asymptomatic people with Covid-19 to 5 days from 10 days.

The CDC said the change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of Covid transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

“Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others,” the CDC said.

A new study from South Africa also indicated that those infected with the Omicron variant have increased immune protection against the Delta strain.

Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Semiconductor stocks gave back some ground, however, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index falling by 1.2 percent after reaching a record intraday high in early trading.

Tobacco, biotechnology and steel stocks also moved to the downside, while some strength was visible among utilities and airline stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

European stocks also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K. markets remained closed, the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries pulled back near the unchanged line after moving higher early in the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, closed unchanged at 1.481 percent after hitting a low of 1.455 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to reports on the U.S. goods trade deficit and pending home sales.

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