MARKET SNAPSHOT: Tech Rebound Boosts S&P 500, Nasdaq, But Dow Struggles

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 S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were trading higher on Tuesday, thanks to a rebound in technology stocks. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled, switching between small gains and losses.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The S&P 500 index was up by 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,646, trading within a point of its all-time closing high. Technology stock were leading the gains, up more than 1%, with health-care and financials distant second and third, up 0.4%.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 51 points, or 0.8% to 6,826. Tuesday's gains on Nasdaq follow recent selloffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly unchanged at 24,298, with 20 of its 30 main components trading lower. 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.

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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 6.3% on Tuesday. PulteGroup Inc.(PHM) was down 2.8%, while and Lennar Corp.(LEN) dropped 1.2%.

Mastercard Inc.'s stock (MA) rose 1.4% 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 9% 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 1.7% 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).

Shares of car-parts seller (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autozone-shares-jump-6-premarket-after-better-than-expected-earnings-2017-12-05)AutoZone Inc.(AZO) rose 1.4% 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 14% 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. 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 are the economic data signaling?

The U.S. trade deficit in October jumped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-imports-record-amount-of-goods-from-china-mexico-europe-as-trade-deficit-soars-2017-12-05)8.6% to a ninth-month high of $48.7 billion from $44.9 billion. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $47.6 billion gap.

The Institute for Supply Management's index of service-oriented companies (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-businesses-still-growing-rapidly-even-after-tapping-brakes-in-november-ism-finds-2017-12-05) such as banks and retailers fell to 57.4% in November from a 12-year high of 60.1% in October.

Numbers over 50% are viewed as positive for the economy, however, and anything over 55% is considered exceptional.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 05, 2017 11:59 ET (16:59 GMT)