The Dow Jones and S&P 500 opened flat on Tuesday after record highs in the previous session, while Nasdaq started to climb, despite weak retail sales data.
The blue-chip Dow Jones was down 47 points to 32,906 and the S&P 500 added 3 to 3,972 at 9.36 a.m. EDT (1336GMT).
The Nasdaq jumped to 13,542 after adding 82 points with Airbnb adding 2%, while Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s parent, Alphabet, each gaining more than 1%.
Despite a two-month rally, the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes was down 0.5% to 1.599% for a second consecutive day, easing investors’ fear amid inflation, which triggered a 0.9% decline in the VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, to 19.85.
Retail sales were much lower than expected, falling 3% in February from the previous month because of severe winter conditions last month, according to figures released by the Census Bureau.
While analysts expected a 0.5% decline, the change for January was revised up from an increase of 5.3% to 7.6% with investors’ strong expectation about President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill passing Congress that provides $1,400 direct checks to most individuals.
Most of the decline in retail sales came from department stores that saw an 8.4% decrease, followed by sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, and book stores falling 7.5%.
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