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U.S. Stocks Turning In Mixed Performance In Morning Trading

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Stocks are turning in a mixed performance in morning trading on Tuesday following the rally seen in the previous session. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq is seeing further upside, the Dow and the S&P 500 are giving back ground.

Currently, the major averages are stuck on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Nasdaq is up 42.95 points or 0.5 percent at 9,277.78, while the Dow is down 155.90 points or 0.6 percent at 24,441.47 and the S&P 500 is down 6.29 points or 0.2 percent at 2,947.62.

The mixed performance on Wall Street comes as traders take a breather following yesterday's rally, which lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to their best closing levels in well over two months.

Traders have recently expressed considerable optimism about the economy reopening, although lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic may be leading to some caution.

The markets are also reacting to the latest earnings news from big-name companies like retail giants Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD).

Shares of Walmart have moved higher after the company reported better than expected first quarter results, while shares of Home Depot have moved to the downside after the home improvement retailer reported weaker than expected first quarter earnings.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing another steep drop in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of April.

The report said housing starts plummeted by 30.2 percent to an annual rate of 891,000 in April after tumbling by 18.6 percent to a revised 1.276 million in March.

Economists had expected housing stocks to plunge by 23.8 percent to a rate of 927,000 from the 1.216 million originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department said building permits also slumped by 20.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.074 million in April after falling by 5.7 percent to a revised 1.356 million in March.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to nosedive by 26.1 percent to a rate of 1 million from the 1.353 million originally reported for the previous month.

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

Gold stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index spiking by 4.4 percent.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a rebound by the price of the precious metal, as gold for June delivery is climbing $15.10 to $1,749.50 an ounce after tumbling $21.90 to $1,734.40 an ounce in the previous session.

Semiconductor stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 1.2 percent to its best intraday level in nearly three months.

On the other hand, oil service stocks have come under pressure in morning trading even though the price of crude oil is seeing further upside following the spike seen in the previous session. Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 3 percent.

Banking stocks have also shown a significant move to the downside, with the KBW Bank Index slumping by 1.8 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index spiked by 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has fallen by 0.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after moving sharply lower in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.3 basis points at 0.721 percent.

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