Plus   Neg

Stocks Close Modestly Lower Following Choppy Session - U.S. Commentary


Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before ending the session modestly lower. The Dow and the S&P 500 close lower for the first the time in six sessions.

The major averages ended the day in negative territory. The Dow slumped 254.63 points or 1 percent at 24,964.76, the Nasdaq edged down 5.16 points to 5.16 points or 7,234.31 and the S&P 500 fell by 15.96 points or 2,716.26.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders are digesting recent volatility and expressing some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets.

Traders were also reluctant to make more significant moves amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

Most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, although significant weakness was visible among gold stocks

Reflecting the weakness in the gold sectors, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index slumped by 3.1 percent,

The weakness among gold stocks came amid a steep drop by the price of precious metal, with gold for April delivery plummeted $25.10 to $1,342.10 an ounce.

Pharmaceutical, transportation, and real estate stocks also saw considerable weakness, while significant strength was also visible among semiconductor stocks.

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) jumped by 6 percent after Qualcomm (QCOM) raised its offer to acquire the chipmaker to $127.50 per share from $110 per share.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikki 225 Index slumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved back to the downside following the rebound seen over the two previous sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note which moves opposite of its price, dipped by 1.6 basis points 2.89 percent.

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