RTTNews - Stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Tuesday, with traders reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of the release of some key economic data. The major averages have turned mixed after moving lower at the open.
Reflecting the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing relatively modest moves. Nonetheless, some strength has emerged among transportation, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks.
Traders are looking ahead to a slew of data, with the Institute of Supply Management due to release the results of its manufacturing survey for August at 10:00 a.m. ET. Economists expect the ISM manufacturing index to show a reading of 50.2 compared to 48.9 in the previous month.
A reading above 50 would indicate an expansion in the manufacturing sector following eighteen consecutive months of contraction. Recent regional reports have indicated considerable improvement in the manufacturing sector.
Traders will also digest data on pending home sales for the month of July from the National Association of Realtors. Following a 3.6 percent increase in June, economists expect pending home sales to edge up 0.6 percent in July. The data is also slated for a 10:00 a.m. ET release.
Separately, the Commerce Department will release its construction spending report for July. Economists expect a modest 0.2 percent drop in construction spending after the prior report indicated a 0.3 percent increase in June.
Automakers may also be in focus, as they are expected to report monthly sales details for
August. The positive impact of the cash for clunkers program will be on traders' radar.
In corporate news, online auction giant Ebay (EBAY) is expected to announce the sale of its Skype Internet phone calling unit to a set of private investors.
The major averages are currently turning in a mixed performance, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a modest gain. While the Nasdaq is currently up 3.23 at 2,012.29, the Dow is down 19.72 at 9,476.56 and the S&P 500 is down 1.35 at 1,019.27.
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