This story was updated at 4:15 p.m. EDT.
U.S. markets ended the day Tuesday mostly lower in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks. European shares were also mixed, with markets in France and Germany eking out slight gains. The blasts that killed at least 34 people and injured at least 198 in the heart of Western Europe put downward pressure on travel-dependent European companies while boosting safe-haven positions in gold and government bonds.
But like in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, investors weren’t cowed by acts of random killing and mayhem aimed at instilling fear and uncertainty.
“Other than murder, given global market reaction, the objectives of the terrorists have again apparently ended in failure,” Stephen Guilfoyle, managing director of New York Stock Exchange floor operations for Deep Value Execution Services, said in a midday note. “The muted risk-off reaction seen in European equity markets, as well as here in the U.S., has abated even further.”
After seven consecutive daily gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) closed down 40.68 points, or 0.23 percent, to 17,583.19 on Tuesday. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) lost 1.8 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,049.8. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 12.79 points, or 0.27 percent, to 4,821.66.
For the year, the Dow is up 0.93 percent while the S&P has gained 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq is down 3.7 percent in the same period of time.
Seven out of the 10 S&P 500 sectors were down Tuesday afternoon. Healthcare, technology and materials stocks ended the day up. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) led Dow advances while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) led declines.
European shares were lower but recovered from lows hit after news of the Brussels attack spread.
The broad pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 closed down 0.21 percent on Tuesday. The Paris-based CAC 40 closed 0.09 percent higher while Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.42 percent. The London FTSE 100 lost 0.65 percent.
The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.95 percent Tuesday from Monday’s settlement yield of 1.93 percent. The bond yield typically rises when investors are more confident about the markets and falls when concerns flare, as they did after the Brussels attack. Gold, another so-called safe harbor investment, gained 0.25 percent to $1,247.30 per troy ounce. Gold prices tend to rise as confidence in the markets falls.
Oil prices dipped lower Tuesday, though they rebounded from a dip following news of the Belgium attacks.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.19 percent to $41.44 after topping $40 last week for the first time since early December. Brent crude, the other major global oil-price benchmark, gained 0.65 percent to $41.81.
Asian stocks ended Tuesday mixed. A weaker yen lifted Japanese stocks after a three-day holiday weekend. Chinese markets gave up Monday’s gains spurred by a move from the state-owned China Securities Finance Corp. to boost lending to stock brokerages.
China's broad CSI 300 Index of the mainland’s largest companies closed down 0.73 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ticked down a slight 0.08 percent. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.94 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended the day almost where it started, with just a slight 0.05-point rise into the green. South Korea’s main Kospi Index gained 0.35 percent.