Stock Market Story: Stocks Finish Flat as Markets Consolidate

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After spending much of the afternoon trading near intraday lows, the major U.S. stock markets finished Tuesday little changed following a short-term period of consolidation.

The S&P 500 (SPY) was down 0.16% to 1,933.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) was down 0.06% to 16,560.54. The Nasdaq (QQQ) was down 0.27% to 4,389.25. Investors stepped back after the S&P 500 recouped 50% of its entire late July decline in two days amid renewed worries about Ukraine, poor data from the two largest eurozone economies, and the threat of any early rate hike. The index has jumped 34 to 35 points from its cash opening of about 1,903 on Friday and has increased over 50 points from its Friday futures low of approximately 1,890.

"We've gotten a little bit overdone to the upside and now you're seeing signs of things stalling out a bit," Greywolf Execution Partners' chief technical analyst Mark Newton explained from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Another move higher right away would be tough without first seeing a bit of consolidation or pullback, he said.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks was heading to eastern Ukraine from Russia, sparking suspicions that Moscow was attempting a military intervention by stealth. The French current account deficit gaped wider and the latest economic confidence index from Germany’s prestigious ZEW economic research center dropped to well below the consensus. The possibility of early U.S. interest rate hikes remained a concern amid the steady flow of better-than-expected economic data.

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