Dow, S&P 500 score back-to-back records; Nasdaq again lags behind

Dow, S&P 500 score back-to-back records; Nasdaq again lags behind”

It tumbled 5.9% and Kellogg and Kraft Heinz both lost more than 1%.

US stocks edged up in early afternoon trading on Tuesday, helped largely by gains in telecom stocks, but traded in a narrow range as investors stayed away from making major bets ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

Zions Bancorporation climbed 1.6%, while Raymond James Financial rose 1.4%. "If you continue to see (bond) yields go up, you'll probably see more of a rotation" into financial stocks.

Any reduction in the Fed's balance sheet could make it harder for banks and investors to borrow certain Treasuries in the repurchase agreement market, making it more difficult and expensive to bet on or protect against rate increases.

Bond prices fell, sending yields higher. The Dow Jones industrials were little changed.

US stocks have been breaching record levels, with the Dow clocking a closing record for the fifth day in a row on Monday and the S&P closing at a record for the second consecutive session.

Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) are posting standout gains following a report from CNBC that the companies are in active talks about a merger. Johnson Controls rose 3 percent and American Airlines rose 2.3 percent.

The report said export prices also rose by 0.6% in August following a 0.5% increase in the previous month.

Traders also sold off several packaged food companies after General Mills' latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

In Asia, stock markets diverged on Thursday in morning session after the Fed announced that it would begin paring back its balance sheet in October.

Bed Bath and Beyond plunged 15 percent after reporting earnings and sales that missed analysts' forecasts.

At 9:38am ET (1338 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 21.79 points, or 0.1%, at 22 353.14, the S&P 500 was up 1.13 points, or 0.04%, at 2 505 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 4.18 points, or 0.06%, at 6 458.82. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2%.

Health index .SPXHC was the biggest laggard on the S&P, pulled lower by United Health's UNH.N 2.2 percent fall.

With traders looking ahead to tomorrow's monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve, stocks are turning in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Tuesday.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.45 to $50.24 a barrel after jumping $0.93 to $50.41 a barrel on Wednesday. ConocoPhillips gained 1.3 percent. While the German DAX Index closed just above the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. The Nasdaq composite fell 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,456.

However, with the CBOE Volatility Index closing at its lowest level in almost two months at 9.67, Peter Cecchini, chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in NY, said the market is not reflecting risks such as US-North Korea tensions and high valuations.

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