The benchmark averages were higher for a second day but continued to idle near the flat line with the Dow still flirting with 20,000 and the Nasdaq Composite setting another record high on gains in technology and biotech stocks. Nine of the eleven sectors of the S&P 500 were in the green.
An early spike reflected Wall Street’s response to a 15-year high in consumer confidence and significant increase in the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index. The Case Shiller home price index beat expectations as well, increasing 0.6% in October. The Dow closed in on 20,000 but retreated before mid-day, settling into a narrow range for the remainder of the day.
Another lifeless session is anticipated for Wednesday with only the pending home sales index on the calendar, expected to increase 0.5% in November.
In related markets, gold was up by $6 per ounce, oil futures were up for third straight day, and Treasury yields were higher by roughly 2 basis points across the yield curve.