By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – Wall Street moved off lows on Tuesday, but remain sluggish as data showing an unexpected wobble in consumer confidence renewed investor jitters over the pace of the economic recovery.
The fell 0.41%, or 116 points. The rose 0.19%, while the added 0.34% to remain on track to close at record highs.
The unexpectedly fell to 84.8 this month from 91.7 in July, missing economists’ forecast for a reading of 93.
“The drop in confidence this month is disappointing. We had expected to see a better reading based on the fact that the second surge of COVID in the Sun Belt is abating and the worst outcomes seem to be avoided,” Jefferies (NYSE:) said.
But the drop “suggests that the expiration of the $600 enhanced unemployment insurance benefits really took a bite out of confidence,” it added.
The move lower in the broader market was exacerbated by a fall in energy stocks, paced by a 3% decline in Exxon (NYSE:) Mobile after the oil major was booted out of the following a re-weighting of the index.
The fall in energy was kept in check somewhat by a rise in oil prices as oversupply worries eased because energy companies cut production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to limit damage from Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall over the next few days.
Tech, meanwhile, struggled to advance as shares of Apple (NASDAQ:) fell following an impressive rally that took the company’s valuation to over $2 trillion. But a rise in Microsoft (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:) limited downside in the sector.
In other news, Gap Inc (NYSE:) jumped 9% following after Citigroup (NYSE:) upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, and lifted its price target to $24 from $12 ahead of quarterly results due Thursday.
Airlines, meanwhile, were mostly lower as signs that air travel demand remains lucklustre continued.
American Airlines (NASDAQ:), down 2%, said it would layoff 19,000 employees in October unless the government extends airline payroll aid, while Delta Air Lines (NYSE:), up 0.4%, said it would furlough nearly 2000 pilots in October. United Airlines (NASDAQ:) was down more than 3%.
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