Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, extending the lackluster performance seen in the previous session. The major averages once again spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The major averages eventually ended the day in positive territory. The Nasdaq climbed 46.99 points or 0.4 percent to 13,276.42, the S&P 500 rose 10.06 points or 0.2 percent to 4,283.85 and the Dow inched up 10.42 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,573.28.
Traders remained reluctant to make significant moves as they continue to look ahead to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
The Fed is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision next Wednesday, with the central bank widely expected to pause its recent series of interest rate hikes.
Key inflation reports are also likely to be in the spotlight next week, as the data could impact whether the Fed resumes its rate hikes next month.
CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating a 79.4 percent chance the Fed will leave rates unchanged next week but a 52.7 percent chance of another quarter point increase in July.
A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept traders on the sidelines, although reports on the U.S. trade deficit and weekly jobless claims may attract some attention in the coming days.
Among individual stocks, shares of GitLab (GTLB) soared after the software development platform company reported a narrower than expected fiscal first quarter loss on revenues that exceeded analyst estimates.
Recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries (THO) also surged after reporting fiscal third quarter results that beat expectations and raising its full-year earnings guidance.
On the other hand, Coinbase (COIN) saw significant weakness after the SEC charged the company with operating its crypto asset trading platform as an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.
Despite the lackluster performance by the broader markets, airline stocks moved sharply higher on the day, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 3.6 percent to its best closing level in almost a year.
Substantial strength was also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 3.2 percent surge by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The index jumped to a well over one-year closing high.
Banking stocks also showed a significant move to the upside, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 3.0 percent to its best closing level in over a month.
Tobacco, steel and brokerage stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, while healthcare stocks moved to the downside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved modestly higher on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries showed a lack of direction before closing roughly flat for the second straight session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by less than a basis point to 3.699 percent.
A report on the U.S. trade deficit in the month of April may attract some attention on Wednesday, although trading activity is likely to remain relatively subdued.
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