Stocks were mixed Tuesday morning as market participants considered a pared-down stimulus proposal from congressional lawmakers, and awaited the outcome of the first presidential debate later this evening. A host of economic data reports this week also loomed, including multiple reports on the US labor market.

The S&P 500 was little changed shortly after market open, and the Dow ticked down fewer than 50 points. The muted moves contrasted with the sharp rally a day earlier, following four straight weekly losses in the broader market.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“We’re a little oversold, believe it or not. Last week, we saw some real panic in the stock market. People were really liquidating everything,”&nbsp;Chris Vermeulen, TheTechnicalTraders.com founder and chief market strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “And I think finally people kind of put aside the pessimism from last week … now people are kind of stepping back in hoping the market is going to find the bottom here and rally.”” data-reactid=”18″>“We’re a little oversold, believe it or not. Last week, we saw some real panic in the stock market. People were really liquidating everything,” Chris Vermeulen, TheTechnicalTraders.com founder and chief market strategist, told Yahoo Finance on Monday. “And I think finally people kind of put aside the pessimism from last week … now people are kind of stepping back in hoping the market is going to find the bottom here and rally.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="House Democrats’ newly announced $2.2 trillion package offered a sliver of hope that Congress might make a last-minute move to pass further fiscal stimulus legislation before the November elections. But the package – a big step down from the more than $3 trillion Democratic lawmakers had sought earlier – leaves a chasm between their offer and the around $1 trillion Republican lawmakers have suggested would be their ceiling on a stimulus plan sum.” data-reactid=”19″>House Democrats’ newly announced $2.2 trillion package offered a sliver of hope that Congress might make a last-minute move to pass further fiscal stimulus legislation before the November elections. But the package – a big step down from the more than $3 trillion Democratic lawmakers had sought earlier – leaves a chasm between their offer and the around $1 trillion Republican lawmakers have suggested would be their ceiling on a stimulus plan sum.

That has left many economists and policy pundits skeptical that a deal could be passed in the near-term – leaving a potential for markets to be disappointed on that front in the coming month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to hold phone conversations today over virus relief.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Elsewhere, market participants on Tuesday will be closely watching the first of three debates ahead of the presidential election, with President Donald Trump set to face former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio for a 90 minute session starting at 9 p.m. ET. Topics set to be discussed include the records of Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and civil unrest, and election integrity, the nonpartisan&nbsp;Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week.” data-reactid=”21″>Elsewhere, market participants on Tuesday will be closely watching the first of three debates ahead of the presidential election, with President Donald Trump set to face former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio for a 90 minute session starting at 9 p.m. ET. Topics set to be discussed include the records of Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and civil unrest, and election integrity, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week.

While the debate itself will not likely serve as a platform for the candidates to announce new planned policies that could impact markets, it will give market participants an opportunity to fine-tune their views on which candidate might have a better chance of winning the White House.

“Debates rarely launch new policy initiatives. The spin after the debate is what matters,” UBS economist Paul Donovan said in a note Tuesday morning. “Polarization means that committed supporters will not change their views, and the number of undecided voters is lower than four years ago—but still large enough to affect the election outcome.”

9:34 a.m. ET: Stocks open mixed as markets pause after rally

Here were the main moves in markets as of 9:34 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -1.33 points (-0.04%) to 3,350.27

  • Dow (^DJI): -44.57 points (-0.16%) to 27,539.49

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +7.00 points (+0.07%) to 11,124.12

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.65 (-1.6%) to $39.95 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$6.80 (+0.36%) to $1,889.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.2 bps to yield 0.651%

8:36 a.m. ET: US home price grew faster than expected in July, with housing demand climbing

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The S&amp;P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index grew by a greater than expected margin over last month and last year in July, as housing demand continues to boom.” data-reactid=”38″>The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index grew by a greater than expected margin over last month and last year in July, as housing demand continues to boom.

Over last month, the home price index for 20 major US metropolitan areas rose 0.55%, jumping ahead of the 0.10% gain expected and the unchanged reading from June. The index over last year rose 3.95%, versus the 3.6% consensus.

8:31 a.m. ET: Trade deficit yawns to a record as imports surge

The US trade deficit grew by $2.8 billion to a record $82.9 billion in August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, as imports rebounded from the pandemic more quickly than exports, driving a yawning goods trade gap in the US. Consensus economists were looking for the deficit to total $81.8 billion in August.

Imports jumped 3.1% to $201.3 billion in August, hitting a seven-month high. Exports, meanwhile, increased 2.8% to $118.3 billion. Taken together, goods brought into and exported out of the US totaled $319.6 billion, improving by more than $9 billion from July but holding below pre-pandemic levels as international trade gradually picks back up amid the ongoing virus outbreak.

“The Covid shock crushed both exports and imports, and both remain below their prior levels, but the rebound in imports has been bigger,” Pantheon Macroeconomics economist Ian Shepherdson said in an email. “Net trade is likely to be a net drag on Q3 GDP growth, probably subtracting more than one percentage point. That will be trivial compared to the surge in domestic spending, which likely will lift growth to 30% or more, thanks to hugely favorable base effects and strong momentum in the early part of the quarter.”

7:29 a.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures point to a mixed open

Here were the main moves in markets as of 7:29 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,348.25, up 2.25 points or 0.07%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,500.00, up 18 points or 0.07%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,386.00, down 8.75 points or 0.08%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.27 (-0.64%) to $40.33 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$11.40 (+0.61%) to $1,893.70 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.7 bps to yield 0.654%

6:11 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open higher

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:11 p.m. ET Monday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,349.25, up 3.25 points or 0.1%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,517.00, up 35 points or 0.13%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,394.5, flat

Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009. Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq turning positive for the year, as a batch economic data that was not as dire as expected fed optimism the economy's worst days were behind it. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2009. Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq turning positive for the year, as a batch economic data that was not as dire as expected fed optimism the economy's worst days were behind it. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)
Trading specialists glance at each other as they prepare to leave the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)

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