The U.S. stock market is trading down Tuesday, weighed by declines in the U.S. consumer confidence index and German business climate index.

The S&P 500 Index is down 12.14 points, or 1.10 percent, to trade at 1,095.87 at 12:17 pm. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 78.75 points, or 0.76 percent, at 10,304.63. The Nasdaq Composite fared the worst, losing 1.40 percent.

Commodities & Currencies

NYMEX March crude oil futures are down 1.50 percent on Tuesday and Comex March Copper is down 2.83 percent.

High yielding and commodities currencies lost against the dollar and yen as the Australian dollar and Canadian dollar lost 94 pips and 99 pips, respectively, against the U.S. dollar since the opening of the U.S. stock market.


Commodities stocks led the decline as Tuesday's indicators casted doubt on global demand. The tech sector sold off heavily while retailer stocks were cushioned by better than expected earnings.

Metals stocks were particularly hard hit as Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) lost 3.26 percent and Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) lost 3.44 percent.

Chip makers were among the worst decliners, with Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) declining 5.37 percent and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) declining 2.40 percent.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Target (NYSE:TGT), Macy's (NYSE:M), and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) all reported solid earnings Tuesday, with each firm beating expectations.

However, with the notable exception of Home Depot, which is up 2.01 percent, retailer shares are mixed as consumer confidence weighs.

Economic Outlook

The most surprising economic data Tuesday was Conference Board's consumer confidence index, released at 10:00 am.

While analysts polled by Reuters forecasted 55.0, the actual reading was 46.0. The figure is the lowest since April 2009.

The Present Situation Index declined to the lowest level in 27 years and fewer consumers anticipated an improvement in business conditions and the job market over the next six months.

According to the survey, those who said jobs are plentiful fell to 3.6 percent from 4.4 percent in the previous report.

Germany's Ifo Business Climate index, which gauges conditions for manufacturers, builders, wholesalers, and retailers, declined for the first time in 11 months on declines in consumer spending and construction.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King also remarked Tuesday that recovery in the Europe zone appears to have stalled.

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