U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Lower After Seeing Early Strength

(RTTNews) - Stocks moved modestly in early trading on Tuesday but have come under pressure over the course of the session. The major averages have pulled back well off their highs of the session and into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels of the day but still in the red. The Dow is down 192.62 points or 0.5 percent at 38,700.18, the Nasdaq is down 51.84 points or 0.3 percent at 16,202.11 and the S&P 500 is down 22.39 points or 0.4 percent at 5,180.00.

The weakness that has emerged on Wall Street comes as traders look ahead to the release of key inflation data in the coming days.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release its reports on consumer and producer inflation in the month of March on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Economists currently expect consumer prices to rise by 0.3 percent in March following a 0.4 percent increase in February.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, are also expected to climb by 0.3 percent in March after rising by 0.4 percent in February.

The annual rate of consumer price growth is expected to accelerate to 3.4 percent in March from 3.2 percent in February, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth is expected to slow to 3.7 percent for 3.8 percent.

Producer prices are expected to rise by 0.3 percent in March after climbing by 0.6 percent in February, while the annual rate of producer growth is expected to jump to 2.3 percent from 1.6 percent.

The inflation data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates, as Federal Reserve officials have repeatedly said they need greater confidence inflation is slowing before cutting rates.

Wednesday will also see the release of the minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting, which could also shed additional light on officials' thinking on rates.

Computer hardware stocks have shown a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index down by 1.4 percent.

Pharmaceutical and energy stocks have also moved lower, while gold stocks are seeing notable strength amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

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 1.1 percent, while South Korea's Kospi slid by 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has tumbled by 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after moving notably lower over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.2 basis points at 4.372 percent.

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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