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Stocks Struggling to Hold Gains From Bullish Consumer Confidence

Stocks were struggling to hold on to small gains in Tuesday trading, with bottom-fishing among beaten-down biotech and commodity-related stocks earlier lifting the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices to narrow advances. An unexpected rise in consumer confidence this month also had been working to bolster investor attitudes, offsetting a small decline in home prices during July and an expanded trade deficit in August.

Equities opened to the downside today despite modest gains during pre-market trading after a 0.2% drop in home prices magnified housing market worries initially triggered by a 1.4% drop in pending home sales reported Monday. But a rise in consumer confidence to an eight-month high of 103.0, topping expectations, worked to briefly drive stocks into the green before global-growth pressures and their impact on commodity prices pushed the major indices lower again.

European bourses closed mostly lower as investors continued to sell riskier assets amid worries about China. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell to its lowest level since January, losing another 0.32% in value on Tuesday

Crude oil was up $1.01 to $45.44 per barrel. Natural gas was down 5 cents to $2.62 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down 50 cents to $1,131.20 per ounce while silver was up 10 cents to $14.64 per ounce. Copper was unchanged at $2.25 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.88% to $14.65 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.96% to $12.03. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 1.61% to 13.53 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.02% to $108.40. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.50% to $14.01.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 19.99 (+0.21%) to 9,621.41

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 15.70 (-0.10%) to 15,986.19

S&P 500 up 0.71 (+0.04%) to 1,882.48

Nasdaq Composite Index down 8.36 (-0.18%) to 4,535.61

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index down 4.05%

Hang Seng Index down 2.97%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 2.02%

FTSE 100 Index down 0.83%

CAC 40 down 0.31%

DAX down 0.35%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES NYSE

Energy Sector Index up 0.66%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.03%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.88%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PNX (+152.19%) Agrees to $217.2 mln buyout offer from Nassau Reinsurance

(+) CERE (+28.27%) Announces licensing agreement with KWS SAAT

(+) RITT (+18.62%) Swings to Q2 profit, revenue increases 172%

(+) RJET (+9.26%) Upgraded at Deutsche Bank to buy from hold, raised PT by $3

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ZSAN (-31.01%) Decided to discontinue development of its Daily ZP-PTH treatment for severe osteoporosis, ending a collaboration with Eli Lilly ( LLY ).

(-) ESPR (-36.56%) Plans to conduct multiple Phase 3 clinical trials that will separately evaluate patients with statin intolerance

(-) TISI (-19.66%) Pre-reports fiscal Q1 below expectations, cuts fiscal 2016 EPS guidance

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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