RTTNews - With traders reacting negatively to a smaller than expected increase in existing home sales, stocks have turned lower over the course of morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have all pulled back into negative territory, adding to the steep losses posted in the previous session.

While the National Association of Realtors released a report showing the first back-to-back monthly increases in existing home sales since 2005, the increase in sales in May came in slightly below economist estimates.

A variety of sectors have come under pressure since then, with airline stocks turning in some of the worst performances. The Amex Airline Index is currently down 2.5 percent after hitting its worst intraday level in over two months.

Significant weakness is also visible among defense, retail, and semiconductor stocks. Boeing (BA) has helped to lead the defense sector lower after the airplane maker said it has once again delayed the first test flight of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner.

On the other hand, gold stocks are posting strong gains, resulting in a 1.4 percent gain by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The strength in the sector comes in spite of a decrease by the price of gold.

In recent trading, the major averages have moved well off their worst levels of the day, but they continue to post modest losses. The Dow is currently down 19.80 at 8,319.21, the Nasdaq is down 6.45 at 1,759.74 and the S&P 500 is down 0.68 at 892.36.

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