WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged before eventually closing narrowly mixed.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 had been poised to set new record closing highs but pulled back into negative territory in afternoon trading.
While the Nasdaq fell 48.12 points or 0.3 percent to 15,942.55 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.77 points or 0.1 percent to 5,021.84, the Dow rose 125.69 points or 0.3 percent to a record closing high of 38,797.38.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breather following recent strength, which has lifted the S&P 500 above 5,000 for the first time ever.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq has also shown a significant advance in recent sessions, closing in the on the record highs set in November 2021.
A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of several key reports in the coming days.
On Tuesday, the Labor Department is due to release its report on consumer price inflation in the month of January, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates.
Reports on retail sales, industrial production, producer price inflation and consumer sentiment are also likely to attract attention later in the week.
Among individual stocks, shares of Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) soared by 7.5 percent after Piper Sandler upgraded its rating on the pharmaceutical company to Overweight from Neutral.
Space company Rocket Lab (RKLB) also spiked by 8.8 percent after Citi resumed coverage of the company's stock with a Buy rating.
On the other hand, shares of Big Lot (BIG) plunged by 28.0 percent after Loop Capital downgraded its rating on the discount retailer to Sell from Hold.
Despite the lackluster performance by the broader markets, tobacco stocks moved sharply higher on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index up by 3.5 percent.
Substantial strength was also visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Networking Index.
Telecom stocks also showed a significant move to the upside, resulting in a 1.8 percent jump by the NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index.
Housing, natural gas and banking stocks also saw notable strength, while software stocks came under pressure over the course of the session.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while India's Sensex slid by 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line.
In the bond market, treasuries have fluctuated over the course of the session and are currently seeing modest strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.9 basis points at 4.168 percent.
Trading on Tuesday is likely to be driven by reaction to the Labor Department's closely watched report on consumer price inflation in the month of January.
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