U.S. Stocks Turning In Lackluster Performance In Morning Trading

(RTTNews) - Following the sell-off seen in the previous session, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 38.51 points or 0.3 percent at 11,397.45, the Dow is down 113.43 points or 0.4 percent at 27,571.95 and the S&P 500 is down 4.06 points or 0.1 percent at 3,396.91.

Traders seem reluctant to make significant moves amid concerns about the recent spike in coronavirus cases as well as continued uncertainty about the prospects for a new stimulus bill.

Uncertainty about the outcome of the next week's presidential election may also be keeping traders on the sidelines.

Traders are also reacting to some mixed economic data, with separate reports showing a jump in durable goods orders and an unexpected dip in consumer confidence.

The Commerce Department released a report before the start of trading showing new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods jumped by much more than expected in the month of September.

The report said durable goods orders surged up by 1.9 percent in September after rising by rising by 0.4 percent in August. Economists had expected durable goods orders to increase by 0.5 percent.

The much stronger than expected growth in durable goods orders came as orders for transportation equipment soared by 4.1 percent in September after slumping by 0.9 percent in August.

Excluding the spike in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders climbed by 0.8 percent in September compared to a 1.0 percent jump in the previous month. Ex-transportation orders were expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board released a report unexpectedly showing a slight drop in confidence in the month of October.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index edged down to 100.9 in October after jumping to a revised 101.3 in September.

The pullback surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 102.0 from the 101.8 originally reported for the previous month.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions improved while expectations declined, driven primarily by a softening in the short-term outlook for jobs," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.

She added, "There is little to suggest that consumers foresee the economy gaining momentum in the final months of 2020, especially with COVID-19 cases on the rise and unemployment still high."

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Oil service stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index falling by 1.7 percent.

The weakness among oil service stocks comes despite a modest increase by the price of crude oil, as crude for December delivery is rising $0.23 to $38.78 a barrel.

Banking and airline stocks are also seeing notable weakness on the day, while some strength is visible among tobacco and biotechnology stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed just below the unchanged line, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has tumbled by 1.5 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.8 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the upward move seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2 basis points at 0.781 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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