STOCKS CLOSE MIXED: Here's what you need to know

Stocks opened little changed on Tuesday before quickly losing ground in the morning session.

Around 11 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 104 points, the S&P 500 was down 7, and the Nasdaq was down 10.

Ultimately, the Dow closed down, the Nasdaq closed up, and the S&P ended virtually unchanged.

Let’s head to the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 18,472.48 (-0.11%)
  • S&P 500: 2,169.17 (0.03%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,110.05 (0.24%)
  • WTI Crude oil: $42.80 (-0.8%)
  • 10-year Treasury yield: 1.561 (-0.8%)

1. Caterpillar just put the global economy on watch. Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of massive industrial equipment, lowered its 2016 earnings forecast on Tuesday, saying it did not expect economic conditions or its key industries to improve.

2. “The US housing market continues to cool.” Home prices fell 0.1% in May, the second straight monthly decline, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Before seasonal adjustment, the 20-city composite rose 1.2%.

3. The service sector is growing at its weakest pace in 5 months. The flash services purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for July came in at 50.9. Economists had forecast that it improved to 52 from 51.4 in June, according to Bloomberg.

4. The Japanese yen soared amid lowered expectations for Japan’s looming stimulus package. The currency was stronger by 1.1% at 104.62 around 3:24 p.m. ET, after strengthening up to 104.10 earlier in the day.

5. New home sales surge to an 8-year high. New home sales rose 3.5% in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, the best level since February 2008, according to the Census Bureau. Economists had forecast that sales rose 1.6% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000, according to Bloomberg.

6. “The ducks have aligned,” but the Fed will probably miss its biggest opportunity of the year. On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee will announce its latest policy decision — the outcome of its two-day meeting in Washington. It’s widely expected not to raise rates. But Alan Ruskin, the head of G10 FX strategy at Deutsche Bank, has argued in a note that it “could not have wished for a more benign financial market, international event, and data backdrop than they have right now.”

7. Consumer confidence slipped less than expected. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 97.3 in July, which was a lesser drop than expected. Economists had forecast that the index slipped to 96 this month, after improving to 98.


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