After moving modestly higher earlier in the session, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in mid-day trading on Tuesday. The major averages have pulled back off their best levels of the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq dipping into negative territory.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 18.19 points or 0.2 percent at 7,549.49, the Dow is up 7.63 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 24,314.81 and the S&P 500 is up 1.81 points or 0.1 percent at 2,728.52.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes ahead of an earlier than normal close for the , with many traders looking to get a head start on the July 4th holiday.

The strength seen earlier in the day partly reflected recent upward momentum, with the major averages moving higher for the fourth consecutive session.

The continued advance came despite lingering concerns about a global trade war as tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S. and Chinese goods are set to take effect later this week.

Signs of continued strength in the U.S. despite the ongoing trade disputes inspired some traders to continue buying stocks.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected rebound in new orders for manufactured goods in the month of May.

The Commerce Department said factory orders climbed by 0.4 percent in May after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in April.

Economists had expected orders to come in unchanged compared to the 0.8 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.

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

Gold stocks continue to see substantial strength, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surging up by 2.7 percent.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a significant rebound by the price of the precious metal, as gold for August delivery is jumping $14.60 to $1,256.30 an ounce.

Real estate, tobacco, and natural gas stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while modest weakness has emerged among financial and computer hardware stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have turned higher over the course of the session after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.6 basis points at 2.840 percent.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

Market AnalysisBB

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