After moving mostly higher early in the trading session on Tuesday, stocks have given back ground over the course of the morning. The major averages have pulled back well off their highs of the session, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 sliding into negative territory.
Currently, the Nasdaq is down 79.94 points or 0.7 percent at 11,444.61 and the S&P 500 is down 4.42 points or 0.1 percent at 3,895.69. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow is holding onto a modest gain, up 47.94 points or 0.2 percent at 31,486.20.
The initial strength on Wall Street partly reflected a positive reaction to news that China has cut quarantine times for international travelers in a big step toward easing Covid-19 controls.
The news contributed to strength among travel and casino stocks, with Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) showing significant moves to the upside.
Banking stocks also saw early strength after several financial giants, including Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC), raised their dividends after passing the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests.
Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, with lingering concerns about a potential recession continuing to weigh on the markets.
Negative sentiment may also have been generated in reaction to a report from the Conference Board showing U.S. consumer confidence deteriorated to its lowest level in over a year in June.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index slid to 98.7 in June from a downwardly revised 103.2 in May. Economists had expected the index to drop to 101.0 from the 106.4 originally reported for the previous month.
With the continued decrease, the consumer confidence index fell to its lowest level since hitting 95.2 in February of 2021.
Despite the pullback by the broader markets, energy stocks continue to see significant strength on the day. The strength in the sector comes as the price of crude oil for August delivery is rising $0.36 to $109.93 a barrel.
Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 3.1 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 2.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 1.9 percent.
Considerable strength also remains visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 2.9 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.
Banking and tobacco stocks are also seeing notable strength in morning trading, while retail, gold and biotechnology stocks have moved to the downside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.8 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their early lows but remain in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.9 basis points at 3.223 percent.
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