By KEN SWEET AP Business Writer
Stocks were off to a mixed start Tuesday, as the market cooled off from the rally the day before and as investors waited for the debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
The S&P 500 was up 0.1% after drifting between small gains and losses in the early going.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 0.2%.
Banks and industrial companies had some of the biggest losses shortly after the opening bell Tuesday, while several big technology and communications companies were higher.
Technology stocks, long been the driver of this year’s stock market moves, were mostly higher in early trading. Advanced Micro Devices rose 2.5%, Twitter was up 2.8% and Facebook was up 1.5%.
Investors are waiting for Tuesday’s 90-minute televised Trump-Biden debate. The debate comes as coronavirus deaths worldwide crossed 1 million. Cases in the U.S. are on the rise again as states attempt to reopen schools and factories. Tens of millions of Americans remain out of work.
Markets are watching the November election’s impact on tax policy and how long it might take to determine the winner.
“With a reasonable polling lead, one could argue that Joe Biden has more to lose here than President Trump,” said Robert Carnell of ING in a report. He noted that with some potential for gaffes or other colorful moments, the debate might be “cringe-worthy but unlikely to deliver an electoral car-crash for either side.”
Investors’ confidence has been supported by infusions of central bank support into struggling economies and hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine.
Congress still is arguing over the size of a new support package after additional unemployment benefits expired.