Major Averages Turn Mixed After Seeing Early Strength

After moving modestly higher early in the session, the major U.S. stocks indexes have turned mixed over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. While the Dow is holding on to a slim gain, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have moved to the downside.

Currently, the Dow is well off its best levels of the day but remains up 89.96 points or 0.3 percent at 36,392.34. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is down 59.26 points or 0.4 percent at 15,812.00 and the S&P 500 is down 2.63 points or 0.1 percent at 4,788.56 after reaching a record intraday high.

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

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping 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 have 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.

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

Steel stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index falling by 1.4 percent.

Semiconductor, tobacco and oil service stocks have also moved notably lower, while some strength remains visible among airline stocks.

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 is climbed by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing continued strength after ending the previous session modestly higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.1 basis points at 1.460 percent.

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