U.S. stocks rise as markets assess mixed signals

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BOSTON, Aug 3 - U.S. Stocks rose, 10 - year Treasuries were flat and oil prices fell as markets assessed mixed signals from corporate earnings and economic growth data.

Wall Street’s main stock indexes were strong in morning trading but turned positive towards the early afternoon with gains from the likes of Apple Inc and Eli Lilly.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 165.11 points, or 0.47%, to 35,003. 27, the S&P 500 gained 20.39 points, or 0.46%, to 4,407. 55 and Nasdaq Composite gained 34.23 points, or 0.23%, to 14,715.

The market is in a holding pattern and somewhat directionless, trying to sort out the tug of war between the delta variant and an economy ready to reach escape velocity, said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at $56 billion GW&K Investment Management in Boston.

Stronger-than-expected earnings report from U.S. companies in recent weeks have ratcheted up already high Wall Street forecasts on how second-quarter earnings growth will look compared last year.

In June, new orders for U.S. made goods increased more than expected, while business spending on equipment was solid, pointing to sustained strength in manufacturing even as the spending shifts away from goods to services (hence greater success in manufacturing).

GW&K's Clark said the market's focus is now on how extreme any measures to control delta spread could be, but he thinks the concern will pass and economy, earnings and stocks will resume their upward trajectory.

Investors want to see July's domestic employment numbers, due on Friday, after the Fed chief commented last week dovishly on Jerome Powell.

A hint came in payroll data that indicates U.S. hiring slowed in July - not held steady as widely expected - with particular softness among states that ended federal unemployment benefits and areas where the COVID -19 Delta variant is raging

Trade traders left U.S. Treasury yields little changed on Tuesday as they awaited further indicators. The benchmark 10 - year yield stood at 1.1738% early Tuesday afternoon, in line with the note's low march down from this year's high yield of 1.776% through March 30.

If you go back a few months you don't see the same sort of concerns about inflation everywhere, said Morgan Stanley chief economic adviser Reza Moghadam. Oil extended its losses to $600,000 in volatile trade on Tuesday as concerns over rising cases of the Delta Coronavirus Variant weighed on prices, sapping an earlier rally built on expectations for U.S. inventories to fall.

Brent crude dropped 0.93% to $70.60 per barrel and U.S. crude was at $72.46, down 0.799% on the day.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,810. 11 an ounce. Futures of gold fell 0.48% to $1,809. 40 an ounce.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen languished again on Tuesday, particularly against the U.S. dollar in the eyes of the Fed and COVID as questions about lowing economic growth and Japan's new currency had moderated risk appetite.

The dollar index rose 0.03%, with the euro down 0.03% to $1.1864.