Nasdaq Turns Positive But Dow Remains Firmly In The Red

After moving to the downside early in the session, the major U.S. stock indexes have turned mixed over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. While the Dow remains firmly in the red, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has climbed into positive territory.

Currently, the Nasdaq is up 35.45 points or 0.3 percent at 12,400.66 after reaching its best intraday level in well over eight months. Meanwhile, the Dow is down 200.45 points or 0.6 percent at 33,148.15 and the S&P 500 is down 8.94 points or 0.2 percent at 4,127.34.

The pullback by the Dow is partly due to a decrease by shares of Home Depot (HD), with the home improvement retailer falling by 1.3 percent.

Home Depot has moved to the downside after the company reported weaker than expected first quarter revenues and lowered its full-year guidance.

Notable declines by Dow components 3M Co. (MMM), Dow Inc. (DOW) and Nike (NKE) are also weighing on the blue chip index.

Ongoing concerns about the U.S. debt ceiling have also generated some negative sentiment ahead of a meeting between President Joe Biden and top congressional leaders this afternoon.

Meanwhile, traders are also digesting a mixed batch of U.S. economic data, including separate reports showing weaker than expected retail sales growth and an unexpected increase in industrial production.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in April after falling by a revised 0.7 percent in March.

Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.7 percent compared to the 1.0 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding an increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.4 percent in April after sliding by 0.5 percent in March. The rebound in ex-auto sales matched economist estimates.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed industrial production climbed by 0.5 percent in April, while revised data showed production was unchanged in each of the two previous months.

Economists had expected industrial production to come in unchanged compared to the 0.4 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

Gold stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3.5 percent.

The sell-off by gold stocks comes amid a steep drop by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June delivery tumbling $28.10 to $1,994.20 an ounce.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among energy stocks, which are moving lower along with the price of crude oil.

With crude for June delivery falling $0.40 to $70.71 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 2.0 percent.

Biotechnology stocks have also shown a significant move to the downside, resulting in a 2.0 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Seagen (SGEN) is posting a steep loss after Daniel Welch, who serves on the biotechnology company’s board of directors, disclosed the sale of 1,864 shares.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities and commercial real estate stocks are also under pressure amid a continued increase in treasury yields, while strength among computer hardware and semiconductor stocks is contributing to the continued advance by the Nasdaq.

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 climbed by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are moving lower for the third consecutive session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.7 basis points at 3.555 percent.

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