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Stocks drift in early trading after closing out a big August
Wall Street is off to a choppy start in early trading Tuesday, a day after the market wrapped up its fifth monthly gain in a row.
The S&P 500 was up 0.2%, as more strength in technology stocks offset declines in health care, financial and most of the index’s other sectors. Treasury yields moved higher.
The modest gains followed a broad slide in European markets and a mixed finish across stock indexes in Asia.
Zoom Video Communications soared 42.7% a day after the now-ubiquitous video conferencing service reported another quarter of explosive growth. Tesla fell 1.9% after the electric car maker said it would sell up to $5 billion in stock.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 12 points, or less than 0.1%, to 28,447 as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time after waffling between small gains and losses in the early going. The Nasdaq was up 0.9% a day after closing at an all-time high. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks slipped 0.1%.
The stock market has continued its remarkable turnaround since plunging nearly 34% early this year as the coronavirus pandemic knocked the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 closed out August with a 7% gain, its best showing since April.
Encouraging data as broad swaths of the economy have reopened this summer have helped stoke investor optimism about a recovery. The question is whether that’s going to be enough to keep the market moving higher when so much uncertainty remains about the pandemic’s lasting impact on companies and consumers.
Investors will be looking for clues on the state of the economic recovery this week amid what is going to be a busy week for economic news, including the government’s monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday. On Tuesday, the monthly U.S. manufacturing survey from the Institute for Supply Management showed a better-than-expected increase for August.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.72% from 0.71% late Monday.
Oil prices were headed higher. Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 1.6% to $43.29 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 1% at $45.75 a barrel.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 was down 0.7%, while Germany’s DAX dropped 0.4%. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 2.1% a day after it was closed for a public holiday.
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