Stocks Close Modestly Lower Following Light Trading Day

With the markets reopening following the long, holiday weekend, stocks saw modest weakness during trading on Tuesday. Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the major averages.

The major averages all ended the day in negative territory. The Dow edged down 7.85 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 24,746.21, the Nasdaq fell 23.71 points or 0.3 percent to 6,936.25 and the S&P 500 dipped 2.84 points or 0.1 percent to 2,680.50.

A notable decline by shares of Apple (AAPL) weighed in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, with the tech giant slumping by 2.5 percent.

The drop by Apple came after a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily predicted the company would lower its forecast for first quarter iPhone X sales to 30 million.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity remained relatively light, as many traders were still away from their desks following Christmas.

The economic calendar for the week also started off relatively quiet, although reports on consumer confidence, pending home sales and Chicago business activity are due to be released in the coming days.

Volume may remain light throughout the week, although some traders may look to do some window dressing going into the end of the year.

Sector News

Despite the pullback by the broader markets, gold stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day. The NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index surged up by 1.8 percent to a two-month closing high.

The strength among gold stocks came amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for February delivery climbing $8.70 to $1,287.50 an ounce.

Significant strength was also visible among energy stocks, which moved higher along with the price of crude oil. Crude for February delivery jumped $1.50 to $59.97 a barrel on news of a pipeline explosion in Libya.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index advanced by 1.9 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index climbed by 1.8 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil & Gas Index…

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