The U.S. equity markets were a roller-coaster ride on Tuesday, dipping into negative territory three times before striking out for gains early in the afternoon.
|DJIA: +0.19% to 14,641.00||S&P 500: +0.10% to 1,564.56||NASDAQ: +0.06% to 3,224.12|
|Gold: +1.10% to $1,589.80 per ounce||WTI Crude: +0.80% to $94.11 per barrel||U.S. 10-Year: -0.013 points to 1.734%|
Here are three stories helping shape the markets on Tuesday afternoon:
1) Although stocks continue to hang near all-time nominal highs, the recovery on Main Street is still lacking to say the least. Pessimism among small business owners declined last month and is now below the average since the recession technically ended in 2009.
The National Federation of Independent Business, the leading nonprofit small business association representing small and independent businesses, reported that its Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.3 points in March to 89.5, compared to 90.8 in the previous month. March’s reading is only slightly above December’s level of 88.0, which was the second worst reading since March 2010. In the 44 months of economic expansion since the beginning of the “recovery” in July 2009, the index has averaged 90.7… (Read more.)