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Dow Reaches New Record High But Nasdaq Gives Back Ground
After ending Monday's session firmly in positive territory, the major U.S. stock indexes turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a notable pullback, the Dow climbed to a new record closing high.
The Dow ended the day up 133.86 points or 0.4 percent at 38,467.31, while the Nasdaq slid 118.15 points or 0.8 percent to 15,509.90. S&P 500 bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing down 2.96 points or 0.1 percent at 4,924.97.
The pullback by the Nasdaq came as traders cashed in on some of the recent strength in the tech sector ahead of the release of quarterly results from Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and software giant Microsoft (MSFT) after the close of trading.
Big-name tech companies like Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Meta Platforms (META) are also due to report quarterly results in the coming days.
Uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday may also have inspired traders to book tech-sector profits.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but the accompanying statement could have a significant impact on the outlook for rates.
Optimism about a March rate cut has faded recently, with many economists now suggesting the Fed will wait until May to begin lowering rates.
Meanwhile, the uptick by the Dow comes amid strong gains by financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS).
On the U.S. economic front, Labor Department released a report this morning showing an unexpected increase in job openings in the month of December.
The Labor Department said job openings rose to 9.03 million in December from an upwardly revised 8.93 million in November.
Economists had expected job openings to dip to 8.75 million in December from the 8.79 million originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report released by the Conference Board showed a continued improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of January.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 114.8 in January from a downwardly revised 108.0 in December.
Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to climb to 114.0 from the 110.7 originally reported for the previous month.
The consumer confidence index increased for the third consecutive month, reaching its highest level since December 2021.
Airline stocks saw substantial weakness on the day, resulting in a 2.6 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.
JetBlue Airways (JBLU) moved sharply lower after reporting a narrower than expected fourth quarter loss but forecasting lower revenues and higher costs in the first quarter.
Significant weakness was also visible among oil service stocks, which moved lower despite a jump by the price of crude oil, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 1.9 percent.
Semiconductor and networking stocks also saw considerable weakness, weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, while oil producer stocks moved notably higher along with the price of crude oil.
In overseas trading stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 4.082 percent.
While the Fed announcement will be in the spotlight on Wednesday, traders are also likely to keep an eye on a report on private sector employment.
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