Monday’s market rout discounted stock prices enough to bring out the buyers on Tuesday morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved higher by 27 points to 17,176, the S&P 500 climbed six points to 2,018 and the Nasdaq rose 10 to 4,913.
The retail ETFs were also moving higher with the S&P Retail ETF up 0.6 percent to $43.22 and the Market Vector Retail ETF up 0.5 percent to $76.75.
But by the midday session, stocks took a downward turn with the Dow shedding 94 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,055. The S&P 500 was trending down 0.3 percent to 2,006 while the Nasdaq sunk with a 0.6 percent decline to 4,873. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group Index was down 0.8 percent to 1,245 — which is on top of a 2.5 percent decline Monday.
Some of the retail decliners included TJX Cos. Inc. with a 0.3 percent drop to $70.65 and Urban Outfitters Inc. with a 2.4 percent decline t0 $22.30. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. were up 1.9 percent to $62.62.
Citibank downgraded Nordstrom to “neutral” from “buy,” but it didn’t hurt the stock, which rose 13 cents to $50.33. Citibank analyst Paul Lejuez believes Nordstrom will have a hard time reigniting sales, especially against a backdrop of high inventory and intense promotions. He noted that even with the stock near 12-month lows, he didn’t feel he could tell investors to buy the stock at this time.
Lejuez felt the opposite way about J.C. Penney, which he upgraded to neutral from sell and pushed the stock higher by 1 percent to $7.09. He said he was cautious about the company’s ability to reach its targets and generate free cash flow. But Lejuez ultimately thinks the market is aware of J.C. Penney’s challenges.
Under Armour unveiled the company’s first wearable tech product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The fitness company calls its new system UA Health Box, which includes the sport band, a heart rate monitor, a scale that measures weight and body fat, a smart show and wireless headphones engineered by Harman and JBL. HTC collaborated on the app for Under Armour. The stock is up 0.5 percent to trade near $80.06.
The same couldn’t be said for Asia. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.7 percent, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.4 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed down 0.3 percent. While it doesn’t look like the Chinese selling on Tuesday was very bad, consider that the Chinese government was rumored to have stepped in and purchased stocks to support the market. The government also said that insiders will not be able to sell stocks. The ban on insider selling was expected to be lifted at the end of the week, which is what triggered Monday’s huge crash.
European markets all traded to the downside after an initial bout of positive trading. That early lift came from mining stocks, which were among the top gainers because with all the market uncertainty, gold has been welcomed back as a safe haven. Gold was up for a second day at $1,079 an ounce.