Stocks have moved moderately higher in early trading on Tuesday after ending the previous session roughly flat. The major averages have all moved to the upside, although buying interest has remained relatively subdued.
The major averages have pulled back off their highs for the young session but are holding on to modest gains. The Dow is up 13.70 points or 0.1 percent at 13,285.34, the Nasdaq is up 10.05 points or 0.3 percent at 3,086.26 and the S&P 500 is up 3.32 points or 0.2 percent at 1,421.45.
The early strength on Wall Street is partly due to optimism about the financial situation in Europe ahead of meetings of some key European leaders.
Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker is due to meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens on Wednesday, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are due to meet in Berlin on Thursday.
Ahead of the meetings, Spain sold 4.5 billion euros worth of 12 and 18-month bills compared to its 3.5 billion to 4.5 billion euro target. Borrowing costs eased from a previous auction on July 17th.
Nonetheless, trading activity has remained below average amid a lack of major U.S. economic data for the second straight day.
Traders are looking ahead to Wednesday's report on existing home sales as well as the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although gold stocks have moved sharply higher amid an increase by the price of the precious metal. With gold for December delivery climbing $16.80 to $1,639.80 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is up by 3.1 percent.
Financial, steel, and airline stocks have also moved to the upside in early trading, while modest weakness is visible among utilities stocks.
Among individual stocks, shares of Best Buy (BBY) have come under pressure after the consumer electronic retailer reported second quarter earnings that fell by much more than anticipated. The company also suspended its earnings guidance.
Bookstore operator Barnes & Noble (BKS) has also moved lower despite reporting a much narrower than expected first quarter loss. The company said it benefited from strong sales of the Fifty Shades series.
On the other hand, shares of Urban Outfitters (UBRN) have moved sharply higher in early trading after the apparel retailer reported better than expected second quarter results.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. China's Shanghai Composite Index and Australia's All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and dipped by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.5 percent, and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly lower after ending the previous session nearly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.6 basis points at 1.83 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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