Stocks Flatline To Start Week
The major U.S. equity averages traded in a tight range on Tuesday, closing near the unchanged level. Better than expected consumer confidence numbers sparked a muted rally around mid-day, but those gains mostly evaporated by the close.
Kicking off what is expected to be a sleepy trading week, the Dow closed a little more than 2 points lower at 12,291. The widely watched blue-chip index traded in a range between 12,269 and 12,328.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) gained 0.08% to finish at $126.49. Relatively speaking, volume was almost non-existent. A little less than 85 million SPY shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 243.8 million.
The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the NASDAQ 100, added 0.29% to $56.24. Year-to-date, the QQQ has risen 3.27%.
Crude oil was very active on Tuesday continues to climb. Iranian threats to block crude shipments in the Strait of Hormuz along with better than expected consumer confidence numbers pushed NYMEX crude up 1.67% to $101.34. ICE Brent Crude contracts rose 0.93% to $108.96 while the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) surged 1.48% to $39.06.
Gold headed in the opposite direction of crude oil. COMEX gold futures fell 0.65% to $1,595.50 in thin trade. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) lost 0.90% and closed at $154.91. COMEX silver futures also fell on the session, losing 1.34% to $28.695.
U.S. Treasuries were moderately higher on the day. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) gained 0.48% to $118.45. The yield on the 10-Year Note fell 1.9 basis points to 2.01%.
The U.S. Dollar declined modestly on Tuesday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, fell 0.27% to $22.34. The closely watched EUR/USD pair is currently trading at $1.3068.
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