MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Struggles To Stay At Record, But Tech Rebound Boosts Nasdaq

By Victor Reklaitis and Anora M. Gaudiano, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Home builders sell off after poor Toll Brothers earnings

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was switching between small gains and losses in early Tuesday trade, struggling to push further into record territory.

However a rebound in tech stocks after selloffs over the past few sessions pushed the Nasdaq Composite higher.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 16 points, or 0.1%, to 24,308, with 22 its 30 main components trading higher. The Dow has been rallying to fresh records over the past week, thanks in part to progress on a U.S. tax overhaul (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/senate-passes-tax-bill-advancing-top-republican-priority-2017-12-02) in Washington.

The S&P 500 index was nearly unchanged at 2,639 with eight of its 11 main sectors trading lower. Telecoms and utilities were leading the losses, down about 1%. Technology and health-care stocks rose about 0.5%.

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The Nasdaq Composite rose 25 points, or 0.4% to 6,801.

Read:Chip maker, software stocks close sharply lower as tax overhaul progresses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipmakers-software-developer-stocks-hit-hard-as-tax-reform-progresses-2017-12-04)

And see:Portfolio managers are losing their enthusiasm for highflying tech stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/portfolio-managers-are-losing-their-enthusiasm-for-highflying-tech-stocks-2017-12-01)

What are strategists saying?

"Doubts are starting to surface as to what extent the tax cuts can actually boost an already strong U.S. economy, which is growing at 3.3% and close to full employment," said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, in a note. "Could the benefits just be a little less than what investors were dreaming of?"

"For the time being, stocks are prepared to give tax reform the benefit of the doubt," she said.

Don't miss:If you're panicking over tech stocks and taxes, here's a good reason to stop (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/if-youre-panicking-over-tech-stocks-and-taxes-heres-a-good-reason-to-stop-2017-12-05)

Which stocks look like key movers?

Home builders were among the worst hit stocks after disappointing earnings from Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL), whose shares tumbled 8.7% on Tuesday. PulteGroup Inc.(PHM) was down 3.3%, D.R. Horton Inc.(DHI) sold off 2.4% and Lennar Corp.(LEN) dropped 2.6%.

Mastercard Inc.'s stock (MA) rose 0.4% after the payments company announced a new $4 billion stock buyback program, along with a dividend hike (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mastercard-to-buy-back-4-billion-in-stock-hike-dividend-2017-12-05).

Regal Entertainment Group's stock (RGC) jumped 8.7% after British counterpart Cineworld Group PLC(CINE.LN) agreed to buy it for $3.6 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cineworld-buying-regal-for-36-billion-to-reach-into-us-movie-theater-market-2017-12-05), creating the world's second largest operator of movie theaters. Regal confirmed last week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/regal-entertainments-stock-soars-after-confirming-buyout-talks-with-cineworld-2017-11-29) that it was in buyout talks with Cineworld (CINE.LN).

Shares in Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) rose 0.8% as the e-commerce giant launched its full offering in Australia on Tuesday, but analysts said it was a "patchy" initial effort (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-finally-launches-in-australia-but-its-a-patchy-start-2017-12-05). The foray has been expected to provide an important new beachhead for the online retailer's global distribution network (https://www.wsj.com/articles/welcome-to-the-jungle-amazons-australian-expedition-to-rattle-retailers-1495013400?mod=mktw).

Car-parts seller (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autozone-shares-jump-6-premarket-after-better-than-expected-earnings-2017-12-05)AutoZone Inc.(AZO) shares rose 3.7% and clothing manufacturer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/g-iii-apparel-shares-surge-6-premarket-after-profit-beat-and-raised-guidance-2017-12-05)G-III Apparel Group Ltd.(GIII) rallied 9% as the companies posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

What are other assets doing?

European equities (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-hampered-by-losses-for-tech-shares-2017-12-05) largely traded lower, and Asian markets mostly closed with losses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stock-selloff-weighs-on-asian-markets-2017-12-04), as drops for tech stocks weighed on those markets as well. Oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-hold-steady-after-soft-start-to-the-week-2017-12-05) were down modestly, while gold futures and the ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pound-slides-to-6-day-low-as-brexit-talks-hit-deadlock-again-2017-12-05) inched higher to 93.418.

The British pound slumped to an almost one-week low on Tuesday, hurt by concerns over the U.K.'s Brexit talks hitting another wall.

What could help drive markets?

An October figure for the U.S. trade deficit came in larger than expected. Trade deficit jumped by 8.6% to $48.7 billion.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

At 9:45 a.m. Eastern, a November reading on Markit's purchasing managers index for services is expected to arrive, then the November number for ISM's nonmanufacturing index is due at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists predict the ISM gauge will come in at 59.0%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 05, 2017 10:05 ET (15:05 GMT)