Stocks rise amid quarter-end positioning; eBay climbs

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, bouncing back from the prior day’s drop, as eBay led technology shares higher and portfolio managers engaged in end-of-quarter positioning.

“There is some window dressing going on; we’re probably going higher today on things that worked,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.

“The price went up over the quarter, so you want to report your holdings and say, ‘look at what I have,’ regardless whether you made money,” Forrest added of the practice.

“it’s the last day of the quarter, and professional investors are insuring that their portfolios are in attractive shape,” said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.

Tuesday’s economic reports all disappointed, but would ultimately take a back seat to Friday’s jobs report, Forrest believes.

The Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence in September came in at 86.0 versus an expected 92.5.

Already down more than 20 points ahead of the sentiment gauge, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50 points in its wake.

EBay climbed after the online-auction site said it would split from PayPal, its payments unit, early in 2015.

“I’m not particularly a proponent of the activist investor, as sometimes they don’t see the longer-range effect. But sometimes chocolate and peanut butter really are better together, and in this case, eBay and PayPal don’t necessarily need to be together, so I can see the goodness of it,” said Forrest.

Tuesday’s data had the price of single-family homes rising in July from a year earlier, but stock-futures cut their gains after the S&P/Case Shiller release came in below expectations.

The Chicago PMI for September came in at 60.5, less than the expected 61.9 estimate.

Symbol
Name
Price
Change
%Change
DJIA Dow Jones Industrial Average 17114.71
43.49 0.25%
S&P 500 S&P 500 Index 1980.45
2.65 0.13%
NASDAQ Nasdaq Composite Index 4512.85
7.00 0.16%

Resuming opening gains, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 57.38 points, or 0.3 percent, at 17,128.60.

The S&P 500 gained 5.46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,983.26, with utilities faring best and materials the worst performing among its 10 major sectors.

The Nasdaq added 14.46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,520.34.

Advancers stepped ahead of decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, where 236 million shares traded as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Composite volume approached 1.2 billion.

Getty Images Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Getty Images
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The dollar rose against U.S. currency rivals and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.484 percent.

Dollar-denominated commodities including oil and gold fell, with crude futures for November delivery down 93 cents, or 1 percent, at $93.64 a barrel and gold for December delivery losing $2.10, or 0.2 percent, to $1,216.70 an ounce.

Stocks fell on Monday as demonstrations in Hong Kong sparked worry.

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