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Major Averages Close Mixed Following Lackluster Session - U.S. Commentary


While selling pressure was somewhat subdued, stocks moved modestly lower over the course of the trading session on Tuesday. The major averages pulled back into negative territory after reaching record intraday highs in early trading.

The major averages ended the session mixed, as the Dow managed to inch back above the unchanged line late in the day. While the Dow crept up 8.81 points or less than 0.1 percent to 23,557.23, the Nasdaq fell 18.65 points or 0.3 percent to 6,767.78 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.49 points or less than 0.1 percent to 2,590.64.

The weakness on Wall Street was partly due to profit taking, as traders cashed in on some of the recent strength in the markets.

Trading activity was relatively light, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

The economic calendar remains relatively quiet throughout the week, although reports on weekly jobless claims, wholesale inventories and consumer sentiment may attract attention in the coming days.

Banking stocks showed a substantial move to the downside over the course of the session, dragging the Dow Jones Banks Index down by 2.2 percent.

M&T Bank (MTB), SunTrust Banks (STI) and Zions Bancorp (ZION) turned in some of the banking sector's worst performances on the day.

Significant weakness was also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent loss posted by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. With the drop, the index fell to its lowest closing level in over two months.

Steel and computer hardware stocks also saw notable weakness, while telecom and utilities stocks showed strong moves to the upside on the day.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index both dropped by 0.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries finished the session modestly higher after showing a lack of direction in early trading. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by 1.3 basis points to 2.307 percent.

Looking Ahead

Amid another quiet day on the U.S. economic front, trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to the latest batch of earnings news.

Fossil (FOSL), Marriot (MAR), Snap (SNAP), and Take-Two (TTWO) are among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading.

Energizer (ENR), Humana (HUM), and Wendy's (WEN) are among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

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