U.S. stocks edged higher on Wall Street in midday trading Tuesday but continued churning as investors shifted to a more cautious mood a day after the market reached its most recent record high.
Financial stocks slipped as bond yields eased, countering gains from companies that are depending on continued economic growth to recover. Losses in the technology sector eased, helping lift some of the weight holding down the broader market.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% as of 11:46 a.m. Eastern. Stocks within the index were nearly evenly split between gainers and losers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30 points, or 0.1%, to 33,497 and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%.
Much of the churn within the market is occurring as Wall Street assesses the health and speed of the economic recovery. Investors have been weighing concerns about higher inflation as the economy grows, along with expectations that retailers and other service sector stocks will make solid gains as the world moves past the pandemic and returns to some semblance of normalcy.
Gap rose 2.7%, while Wynn Resorts rose 2.3%.
Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.67% from 1.72% late Monday. That helped pull banks lower, as they rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase fell 1.1%.
The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth to accelerate this year as vaccine distribution ramps up and the world rebounds. The 190-country lending agency said it expects the world economy to expand 6% in 2021, up from the 5.5% it had forecast in January. That would be the fastest expansion in IMF records dating back to 1980.
The Labor Department in the U.S. reported that job openings reached the highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hiring and a hopeful sign for those looking for work. That upbeat report follows encouraging reports over the last week on job growth and improvements in the services sector, which is one of the hardest hit areas of the economy from the pandemic.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse said it expects a $4.7 billion loss related to a default of by a U.S. hedge fund. Two top executives are leaving the bank. Credit Suisse also suspended a stock buyback program and cut its dividend. The bank's U.S.-listed shares, which already fell sharply last week after initial news of the default came out, were little changed on Tuesday.
In Europe, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.5%, while Germany's DAX rose 0.8% and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.3%. Markets in Asia were mixed.