U.S. Stocks Give Back Ground After Initial Upward Move

After moving sharply higher at the start of trading 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 sliding into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 57.67 points or 0.7 percent at 8,672.49, the Dow is up 37.51 points or 0.2 percent at 24,171.29 and the S&P 500 is up 1.19 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,879.67.

The initial strength on Wall Street partly reflected continued optimism that the U.S. is seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” of the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of states such as George, South Carolina and Colorado have already stated reopening, while other states like New York have announced plans to begin reopening in the coming weeks.

President Donald Trump’s administration has also unveiled a plan to ramp up testing, which experts have said is the most important step toward reopening the economy.

Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, inspiring some traders to cash in on recent strength in the markets.

The initial jump lifted the major averages to their best intraday levels in well over a month, which may have led some traders to believe the recent recovery has been overdone.

On the U.S. economic front, the Conference Board released a report showing consumer confidence deteriorated significantly in the month of April.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index plunged to 86.9 in April after tumbling to a downwardly revised 118.8 in March. Economists had expected the index to plummet to 90.0 from the 120.0 originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the pullback by the broader markets, substantial strength remains visible among housing stocks, resulting in a 5.2 percent spike by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton (DHI) is posting a standout gain after reporting fiscal second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Oil service stocks also continue to see considerable strength on the day, driving the Philadelphia Oil Service Index up by 4.4 percent.

The rally by oil service stocks comes amid a rebound by the price of crude oil, with crude for June delivery climbing $0.47 to $13.25 a barrel after plunging by nearly 25 percent on Monday.

Banking and tobacco stocks are also seeing significant strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

On the other hand, biotechnology stocks have pulled back over the course of the morning, with the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index slumping by 2.4 percent after reaching a record intraday high.

Healthcare, pharmaceutical and gold stocks have also moved to the downside, contributing to the pullback by the broader 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, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has surged up by 1.9 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground following the pullback seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.8 basis points at 0.618 percent.

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