Stocks are turning in another lackluster performance in early trading on Tuesday, as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves. The major averages have turned mixed after ending the previous session modestly lower.
The major averages currently remain on opposite sides of the unchanged line, with the Nasdaq posting a modest gain. While the Nasdaq is up 1.91 points or 0.1 percent at 2,947.75, the Dow is down 25.20 points or 0.2 percent at 13,047.81 and the S&P 500 is down 1.86 points or 0.1 percent at 1,383.44.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as many traders are staying on the sidelines as the Federal Reserve begins a two-day monetary policy meeting.
The Fed is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank is due to hold its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.
Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "For the next two days we'll sit and wait for what the Fed will tell us they'll do next as patience and sitting still are not virtues of theirs."
"But, Mario Draghi and the ECB last week stole the thunder and took the microphone away from the Fed, making Thursday's ECB meeting much more relevant to markets," he added.
Traders have largely shrugged off a batch of U.S. economic data, including a recent report showing that Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly expanded at a faster rate in July.
While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, electronic storage stocks have come under pressure. The NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index is down by 2.3 percent, with Seagate Technology (STX) leading the way lower after reporting disappointing quarterly results.
Brokerage and housing stocks are also seeing early weakness, while strength has emerged among semiconductor and steel stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved moderately higher, continuing to recovery from the sell-off seen last Friday. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.6 basis points at 1.478 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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