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28.05.2024 19:31:18

Major Averages Continue To Turn In Mixed Performance In Afternoon Trading

(RTTNews) - The major U.S. stock indexes moved in opposite directions early in the session and continue to turn in a mixed performance in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

While the tech-heavy Nasdaq has reached a new record intraday high, climbing above 17,000 for the first time ever, the Dow is extending the sharp pullback seen over the previous week.

The Nasdaq is currently off its highs of the session but still up 94.59 points or 0.6 percent at 17,015.38, while the S&P 500 is nearly unchanged, up 1.16 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 5,305.88.

Meanwhile, the Dow fell to a new low for the session in recent trading and is currently down 227.46 points or 0.6 percent at 38,842.13.

The continued advance by the Nasdaq comes amid a sharp increase by shares of Nvidia (NVDA), with the AI darling surging by 7.1 percent to a record intraday high.

Last week, Nvidia reported better than expected fiscal first quarter results and provided upbeat guidance while also announcing a ten-for-one stock split and increasing its quarterly cash dividend by 150 percent to $0.10 per share.

Meanwhile, a steep drop by shares of Merck (MRK) is weighing on the Dow, as the drug giant is slumping by 2.6 percent.

Overall trading activity remains somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the release of key inflation data later this week.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on personal income and spending in the month of April, which includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve.

The inflation data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Fed's next monetary policy meeting on June 11-12.

In an interview with CNBC this morning, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said he needs to see "many more months of positive inflation data" before he would consider cutting interest rates.

Kashkari, who does not have a vote on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year, also said he could not rule out raising interest rates if inflation fails to slow.

On the U.S. economic front, the Conference Board released a report unexpectedly showing a significant improvement in consumer confidence in the month of May.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 102.0 in May from an upwardly revised 97.5 in April.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected the consumer confidence index to decrease to 95.3 from the 97.0 originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

With Nvidia leading the way higher, semiconductor stocks continue to see substantial strength on the day, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2.1 percent to a new record intraday high.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Outside of the tech sector, oil service and gold stocks are seeing significant strength amid notable increases by the prices of crude oil and gold.

On the other hand, healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks have come under pressure on the day, dragging both the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index and the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index down by 1.3 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved modestly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index declined by 0.5 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index slumped 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have slid more firmly into negative territory after seeing modest weakness in early trading. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 5.5 basis points at 4.528 percent.

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