U.S. Stocks Seeing Modest Strength Amid Light Trading

Following the lackluster performance seen in the previous session, stocks continue to experience choppy trading on Tuesday. The major averages are once again bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line after ending Monday’s trading slightly lower.

The major averages have moved to the upside in recent trading and are currently posting modest gains. The Dow is up 118.89 points or 0.3 percent at 35,452.36, the Nasdaq is up 15.89 points or 0.1 percent at 14,256.92 and the S&P 500 is up 6.69 points or 0.2 percent at 4,557.12.

The uptick by the Dow is partly due to a strong gain by shares of Boeing (BA), with the aerospace giant jumping by 2.0 percent to its best intraday level in well over two months.

Being is moving higher after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its rating on the Dow component’s stock to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Overall trading activity has remained subdued, however, with traders reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of several key economic reports in the coming days.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on personal income and spending in the month of October.

The report includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve and could impact the outlook for interest rates.

Recent data has generated optimism the Fed is done raising rates, leading to strength on Wall Street that has lifted the major averages to their best levels in over three months in recent sessions.

Reports on weekly jobless claims, pending home sales and manufacturing activity may also attract attention along with the Fed’s Beige Book as well as remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a rebound in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of November.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 102.0 in November from a downwardly revised 99.1 in October. The increase came following three straight monthly declines.

Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to edge down to 101.5 from the 102.6 originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, gold stocks are extending the rally seen in the previous session.

Reflecting the strength in the sector, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is jumping by 2.1 percent to its best intraday level in almost four months.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery climbing $14 to $2,206.40 an ounce.

Oil producer, steel and utilities stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while weakness is visible among biotechnology and semiconductor stocks.

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 edged down by 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.0 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped by 1.1 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing further upside after ending the previous session firmly positive. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.0 basis points at 4.359 percent.

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