- US markets muted ahead of busy earnings week, jobs number
- Major stock indexes dip in early trading
- Treasury yields remain low
BOSTON: US stocks, 10-year Treasurys and oil prices were mixed ahead of corporate earnings and economic growth signals that investors hope will clarify the investment outlook.
Wall Street's main indexes fell slightly Tuesday morning after initially posting gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.97 points, or 0.15%, to 34,784.19, the S&P 500 lost 9.3 points, or 0.21%, to 4,377.86 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 80.67 points, or 0.55%, to 14,600.40.
Stronger-than-expected profit reports from US companies in recent weeks have ratcheted up already high Wall Street forecasts on how second-quarter earnings growth will look versus last year.
But with stocks already near record highs, investors also want to see July's US non-farm payroll numbers, due on Friday, following dovish commentary from Fed Chief Jerome Powell last week.
A hint came in payroll data that indicates US hiring slowed in July - not held steady as widely expected - with particular softness among states that ended federal unemployment benefits and areas where the COVID-19 Delta variant is raging.
Traders left US Treasury yields little changed on Tuesday as they awaited similar indicators. The benchmark 10-year yield sagged below 1.2% on Monday and was at 1.1656% on Tuesday morning, down less than a basis point for the session. The trading was in line with the note's steady march down from this year's high yield of 1.776% reached March 30.
"If you go back a couple of months the concern about inflation was present everywhere but even in the United States now you don't see the same sort of concerns," said Morgan Stanley's chief economic adviser, Reza Moghadam. "The issue now is growth."
Oil fell on Tuesday in volatile trade as concern over rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant weighed on prices, while expectations of a lower US inventories lent some support.
Continuing Monday's slide, US crude dropped 2.81% to $69.26 per barrel and Brent was at $71.17, down 2.36% as of mid-morning Tuesday.
Spot gold dropped 0.1% to $1,812.30 an ounce. US gold futures fell 0.30% to $1,812.60 an ounce.
The dollar index fell 0.015%, with the euro up 0.04% to $1.1872.