Stocks are lower

Stocks were lower in afternoon trading on Tuesday after the long weekend.

Near 1:24 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 79 points (0.45%), the S&P 500 was down 3 points (0.14%) and the Nasdaq was up 10 points (0.22%).

The telecom sector led gains on the S&P 500, while consumer staples lagged.

Last week was the best for stocks since March. On Friday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said at an event at Harvard that it would be appropriate to raise interest rates in the coming months.

A “substantial rally in stocks worldwide last week ensued as investors considered the positive implications of a Fed rate hike,” wrote John Stoltzfus, chief investment officer at Oppenheimer, in a note.

“We find ourselves not unsettled by the Fed Chair’s remarks and FOMC meeting minutes and find that they point towards an economy strong enough stateside and a recovery abroad sufficiently underway for the Fed to raise rates “in the coming months.””

It was a very busy morning for economic data.

There’s plenty more to come this week, including auto sales, the manufacturing PMI and the jobs report.

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