U.S. Stocks Remain Mostly Lower After Early Move To The Downside

Stocks moved to the downside early in the session on Tuesday and remain mostly lower in afternoon trading. The major averages all remain in negative territory after ending yesterday’s choppy session narrowly mixed.

Currently, the Nasdaq is down 65.89 points or 0.5 percent at 12,191.03 and the S&P 500 is down 14.69 points or 0.4 percent at 4,123.43. The narrower Dow is posting a more modest loss, edging down 31.69 points or 0.1 percent at 33,587.00.

Overseas weakness has carried over onto Wall Street amid ongoing concerns about the outlook for the global economy following disappointing Chinese trade data.

Traders may also be moving money out of relatively risky assets like stocks ahead of the release of key inflation data in the coming days.

The reports on consumer and producer price inflation, which are due to be released on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates.

Ahead of the data, CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating an 82.3 percent chance the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting in June.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said following last week’s rate hike that the central bank would take a “data-dependent approach” to future monetary policy decisions.

The weakness on Wall Street may also reflect concerns about the debt ceiling ahead of a meeting between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

McCarthy has called for any deal on raising the debt ceiling to include spending cuts and told NBC News earlier today he is not in favor of a short-term fix.

Overall trading activity remains relatively subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Sector News

Tobacco stocks continue to see substantial weakness in afternoon trading, dragging the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index down by 2.3 percent. The index is on pace to end the session at its lowest closing level in over five months.

Significant weakness is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent slump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Chipmaker Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) is posting a steep loss after reporting better than expected fiscal second quarter results but providing disappointing guidance for the current quarter.

Chemical and computer hardware are also seeing some weakness on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Tuesday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and jumped by 1.0 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.1 percent.

Most European stocks also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.6 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.2 and the German DAX Index closed nearly unchanged.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing initial strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 3.524 percent.

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