Following the significant volatility seen over the past few sessions, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing modestly higher.

The Dow climbed 141.24 points or 0.4 percent to 38,521.36, the S&P 500 rose 11.42 points or 0.2 percent to 4,954.23 and the Nasdaq inched up 11.32 points or 0.1 percent to 15,609.00.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as some traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets the following recent volatility.

Stocks fell sharply following the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement last Wednesday but rebounded to record highs over the following two sessions only to pullback sharply once again in early trading on Monday.

While the major averages climbed well off Monday’s early lows, fading optimism the Fed will lower interest rates in March continued to hang over the markets.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said the central bank is unlikely to cut rates in March and the chances of a rate cut next month have fallen to just 19.5 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool

A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept some traders on the sidelines following several key events last week.

Among individual stocks, shares of Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) skyrocketed by 30.8 percent after the data analytics provider reported better than expected fourth quarter revenues amid strong demand for its artificial intelligence offerings.

Audio streaming service provider Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) also jumped by 3.9 percent after reporting stronger than expected fourth quarter subscriber growth and providing upbeat guidance.

On the other hand, shares of Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) plunged by 19.2 percent after the chipmaker reported a year-over-year decline in fourth quarter revenue.

Sector News

While most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, airline stocks showed a substantial move back to the upside.

Reflecting the strength in the sector, the NYSE Arca Airline Index soared by 5.3 percent after plunging by 2.9 percent on Monday.

Considerable strength was also visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 2.0 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The strength in the sector came amid an increase by the price of crude oil.

Biotechnology, commercial real estate and healthcare stocks also moved notably higher, while semiconductor stocks showed a significant move to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 3.2 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a significant rebound after moving sharply lower over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 7.4 basis points to 4.090 percent.

Looking Ahead

A report on the U.S. trade deficit may attract some attention on Wednesday along with speeches by several Federal Reserve officials.

On the earnings front, Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Ford (NYSE:F) and Snap (NYSE:SNAP) are among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today’s trading.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) are also among the companies due to report their results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

Source: RTTNews

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