U.S. Stocks Little Changed

By Mike Bird and Akane Otani Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stock indexes merely wobbled on Tuesday, weighed by declines in the shares of health-care and real estate companies.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to 20983 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose less than 0.1%.

Major stock indexes have largely risen in recent weeks as corporate earnings have shown strength among firms in the U.S. and beyond. Investors' expectations for global profits are at a three-year high, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said Tuesday, with more than half of fund managers expecting results to improve over the next 12 months.

Still, some analysts say political uncertainty in the U.S. could weigh on stocks, especially if they appear to reduce the chances of tax cuts, which many hope will boost earnings. Bets on lower tax rates under the Trump administration had helped U.S. stocks rally after Election Day.

"In terms of potential implications for the markets, finding support in Congress for fiscal measures may prove even more difficult for President Donald Trump if the latest reports undermine his relationship with the Republicans," said Piotr Matys, foreign-exchange strategist at Rabobank, referring to reports that the president shared sensitive intelligence obtained from a close U.S. ally with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador.

Corporate news drove swings in individual stocks on Tuesday while leaving major indexes little changed. Shares of Home Depot jumped 1.9% after the company posted sales and profit growth in its first quarter, while shares of TJX slid 4.1% after the retailer reported first-quarter sales that missed analysts' expectations. Etsy shares jumped 20% after two private equity firms said they took stakes in the company and could push for a sale.

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Real-estate shares in the S&P 500 fell 0.6% and health-care shares fell 0.4%, putting pressure on major indexes.

Government bonds ticked higher, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 2.334% from 2.338% Monday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Oil prices climbed, with U.S. crude rising 0.2% to $48.92 a barrel, on track for its fifth consecutive session of gains. Crude for June delivery settled Monday at its highest level since Apri l after Russian and Saudi Arabian energy ministers said they agreed to back a nine-month extension of production cuts aimed at bringing down global inventories.

Elsewhere, European stocks wavered, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up less than 0.1%.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average edged up 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7%, posting its fourth consecutive session of gains.

Write to Mike Bird at Mike.Bird@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 16, 2017 10:55 ET (14:55 GMT)