Equities were flat to lower in a mixed showing Tuesday with energy stocks retreating after recent strength. The Dow Jones industrial average was flat, the S&P 500 eased 0.1 percent and NASDAQ 100 firmed 0.1 percent.
Markets saw profit-taking pressure after Monday's gains. Among sectors, energy, industrials, and materials were notably weaker. Apache, the oil driller, was off 3.4 percent, and Exxon Mobil declined 1.2 percent.
Amazon, down 0.5 percent, dragged down consumer discretionary shares, along with hotels and homebuilders, with Lennar, a leader among the latter, down 2.3 percent. Airlines gave back some of Monday's gains, with Delta down 1.7 percent.
On the positive side, Hanesbrands, the clothing maker, rallied 25 percent on earnings and revenues beats. Varonis, the data security company, rose 10 percent after an earnings beat and announcing a stock split. Ford rose 3.4 percent on an analyst upgrade. Chipotle Mexican Grill rose 3 percent to continue its recent run, while Norton, the software company, gained 7 percent.
Strength in mega-caps Facebook up 1.1 percent, Netflix up 2 percent, and Twitter up 2.9 percent, helped communications services hold up, along with real estate.
These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil rose 54 cents to US$61.13 while spot gold rose US$5.53 to US$1835.76. The US dollar fell sharply against most major currencies. The US Treasury 30-year bond yield was down 1 basis point at 1.95 percent while the 10-year note yield was down 1 basis point at 1.16 percent.
Equities were narrowly mixed Tuesday with Covid-19 in focus and markets struggling to sustain recent highs. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 eased 0.1 percent, the German DAX slipped 0.3 percent, while the French CAC and UK FTSE-100 both firmed 0.1 percent.
Investors noted comments from ECB President Lagarde highlighting downside risks from the virus resurgence, and a report that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was likely to recommend extending lockdowns into March.
Among sectors, energy, construction, and utilities lagged while personal & household goods and health care held up best.
Among companies in the news, Ocado, the online UK grocer, fell 1.9 percent on disappointing guidance. Total, the French energy leader, fell 1.8 percent despite an earnings beat, as oil prices fell. TUI Group, the German travel agent, fell 4 percent on weak bookings. On the upside, Randstad, the Dutch human resources company, rose 2.4 percent as the company sees recovery from pandemic weakness.
Asian markets were mixed but mostly higher Tuesday on follow-through from Monday's strong showing on Wall Street, with Chinese markets ahead on rising commodities prices.
China's Shanghai composite soared 2.0 percent, paced by materials and industrial stocks, with rare earths stocks leading gains. Markets reacted favorably to robust Chinese auto sales data for January and a quarterly report from the People's Bank of China pledging to maintain ample liquidity.
Hong Kong stocks tracked Chinese markets higher, with rising oil prices bolstering energy stocks on hopes for global economic recovery. The Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent. Geely Automotive, the Chinese automaker, rose 3.7 percent on the positive Chinese auto sales report.
Japanese indexes ended flat to slightly better. Growth stocks did better while value stocks lagged. Financials, industrials, materials fell while IT, communications, and mining advanced. Softbank rose 3.4 percent on an earnings beat paced by surging IPO values. Renesas, the chipmaker, rose 1.8 percent as the market liked its acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor.
Lagging were South Korea with the KOSPI down 0.2 percent as it gave up early gains as institutions and overseas investors turned sellers. Australian markets also lagged, with the All Ordinaries index off 0.8 percent after two days of gains, with investors cautious ahead of big earnings reports due this week.
On Wednesday in Asia/Pacific, Chinese PPI and CPI and Japanese PPI reports are scheduled. In Europe, German CPI and French industrial production are due. In North America, Fed Chair Jay Powell will speak and US CPI, US wholesale inventories, and US Treasury budget statement reports are on tap.