U.S. Stocks Give Back Ground After Reaching New Record Highs

After moving higher at the start of trading on Tuesday, stocks have given back ground over the course of the morning. The major averages have pulled back well off their highs of the session, with the Nasdaq slipping into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 28.08 points or 0.2 percent at 12,871.35, the Dow is up 58.79 points or 0.2 percent at 30,462.76 and the S&P 500 is up 5.79 points or 0.2 percent at 3,741.15.

Stocks initially benefited from window dressing, as some fund managers looked to further boost their portfolios going into the end of the year.

The initial advance lifted the major averages to new record intraday highs, although buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading.

Traders subsequently looked to cash in on the recent strength in the markets, leading to the pullback by the major averages.

The choppy trading seen since then reflects light volume, as many traders remain away from their desks ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday on Friday.

A lack of major U.S. economic data has also kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on pending home sales and weekly jobless claims in the coming days.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Pharmaceutical stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index climbing by 1.1 percent.

On the other hand, notable weakness among biotechnology and networking stocks is weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed over the course of the session. While the German DAX Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.8 percent following the long weekend.

In the bond market, treasuries have bounced back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. 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 0.931 percent.

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