U.S. Stocks Close Mostly Lower On First Trading Day Of 2023

(RTTNews) - Stocks finished Tuesday's trading mostly lower, starting the New Year off on a negative note. The major averages saw initial strength but came under pressure over the course of morning trading.

The major averages climbed well off their worst levels late in the session but remained in negative territory. The Dow edged down 10.88 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,136.37, the Nasdaq slid 79.50 points or 0.8 percent to 10,386.98 and the S&P 500 fell 15.36 points or 0.4 percent to 3,824.14.

The early strength on Wall Street came as traders looked to the New Year started on a positive note following a dismal 2022.

For last year, the Nasdaq plummeted by 33.1 percent, the S&P 500 plunged by 19.4 percent and the Dow tumbled by 8.8 percent.

Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, with concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the economy continuing to weigh on the markets.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant bets ahead of the release of some key economic data later this week, including the closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Reports on manufacturing and service sector activity may also attract attention in the coming days along with the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

A report released by the Commerce Department unexpectedly showed a modest increase in U.S. construction spending in the month of November.

The Commerce Department said construction spending crept up by 0.2 percent to an annual rate of $1.808 trillion in November after edging down by 0.2 percent to a revised rate of $1.803 trillion in October.

The uptick surprised economists, who had been expecting construction to decrease by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.3 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

Energy stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, moving sharply lower along with the price of crude oil.

With crude for February delivery plunging $3.33 to $76.93 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index plummeted by 4.3 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index dove by 4.2 percent.

A steep drop by the price of natural gas also weighed on natural gas stocks, dragging the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index down by 3.1 percent.

Airline, steel and semiconductor also saw considerable weakness, while gold stocks surged amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged by 1.8 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.4 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.8 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a notable rebound following recent weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 8.6 basis points to 3.793 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Tuesday may be impacted by reaction to a report on manufacturing activity, although trading may be somewhat subdued ahead of the afternoon release of the Fed minutes, which could impact the outlook for interest rates.

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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