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U.S. Stocks Finish Lackluster Session Modestly Lower

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Following the downturn seen over the course of the previous session, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages spent most of the session lingering near the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the day modestly lower. The Dow dipped 117.72 points or 0.3 percent to 34,378.34, the Nasdaq edged down 20.28 points or 0.1 percent to 14,465.93 and the S&P 500 slipped 10.54 points or 0.2 percent to 4,350.65.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the outlook for the markets following the volatility seen throughout early October.

Concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve scaling back stimulus as early as next month continued to weigh on the markets.

Earnings news was also on traders' minds, with financial giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) due to report its third quarter results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley (MS), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Goldman Sachs (GS) are also due to report their quarterly results in the coming days.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing job openings dropped to 10.4 million in August from an upwardly revised 11.1 million in July.

Among individual stocks, shares of MGM Resorts (MGM) showed a strong move to the upside after Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the resort operator's stock to Outperform from Neutral.

Airbnb (ABNB) also moved notably higher after Cowen upgraded its rating on the vacation rental company to Outperform from Market Perform.

Meanwhile, shares of CureVac (CVAC) fell sharply after the biopharmaceutical company said it would halt development of its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.

Gold stocks turned in a strong performance, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging up by 2.5 percent. The rally by gold stocks came amid a modest increase by the price of the precious metal.

Notable strength was also visible among commercial real estate stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index.

On the other hand, computer hardware and semiconductor stocks came under pressure, dragging the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 0.9 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

The major European markets showed more modest moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both dipped by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved higher over the course of the session as a ten-year note auction attracted strong demand. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.5 basis points to 1.580 percent.

Looking Ahead

Following a couple quiet days on the economic front, trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to a report on consumer price inflation as well as the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

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