RTTNews - After failing to sustain an early upward move, stocks have turned mixed over the course of morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have all pulled back well off their highs, with the Dow and the S&P 500 sliding into negative territory.

Nonetheless, strength among semiconductor stocks has helped to keep the tech-heavy Nasdaq above the unchanged line, with the sector benefiting from upbeat guidance from Texas Instruments (TXN) and Microchip Technology (MCHP).

The gains by semiconductor stocks are contributing to a 3.1 percent gain by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. However, the index remains well off the nearly eight-month high it set earlier this month.

While some steel, trucking, and chemical stocks are also posting strong gains, considerable weakness has emerged in the health insurance sector. Some defense, real estate, and healthcare provider stocks have also come under pressure over the course of the morning.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, stuck on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Nasdaq is currently up 6.94 at 1,849.34, while the Dow is down 28.41 at 8,736.08 and the S&P 500 is down 1.64 at 937.50.

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