The Dow Jones Industrials opened lower on Tuesday one day after the DJI average rose 254 points, the fourth largest gain this year. Stocks got a good start on Monday after it became clear that hurricane Irene caused far less damage than first anticipated. Today, investors seem to have a cautious approach while waiting on new economic data to be released.
In economic news, a report by the Conference Board shows that U.S. consumer confidence fell in August to a reading of 44.5, showing the worst index reading since April of 2009. Separately, S&P/Case-Schiller reports that home prices rose for the third straight month in June. This was likely due to the usual increase in spring as most homes prices are still expected to fall by year’s end.
Stocks have had some wild swings in August. The Dow Jones Industrials was down as much as 7.4% for the year on August 10, but it is only down .03% for the year as of August 29. Monday’s close of the stock market was the highest since August 3.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 index hit a 2011 low on August 8. This came after the credit rating of the United States government was downgraded to AA+. Since then, the S&P has rebounded with a 8.1% gain
Bonds prices have been volatile as well. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note fell to a record low below 2% on August 18, after weak manufacturing data was released by the Philadelphia Reserve.
Investors will be watching as the week unfolds for any sign that the U.S. economy is staving off another recession.