Stocks claw out small gains
Stocks ended in slightly positive territory Tuesday after seesawing throughout the session, as investors weighed readings on consumer confidence and housing against a slew of earnings reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average ticked up 5 points, the S&P 500 rose less than a point, and the Nasdaq gained 6 points.
Stocks climbed to six-month highs Monday, propelled higher by a stronger-than-expected report on existing home sales. But with so much uncertainty underlying the daily economic and corporate reports, volatility will continue to dominate.
Treasury prices ease amid auctions
Treasury prices continued to fall Tuesday as investors brace for auctions totaling $109 billion in U.S. notes this week.
The Treasury Department received strong demand for $35 billion worth of 2-year notes sold Tuesday. But prices remained under pressure ahead of 5- and 7-year note auctions later this week.
On Monday, the U.S. auctioned off 5-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, at a negative 0.55 percent yield on Monday. That marked the first time ever that those bonds were auctioned at a yield below zero.
The fact that there was demand for those Treasuries means bond traders are banking on the Federal Reserve's success at boosting inflation over the next five years. The Fed has said it plans to implement another round of quantitative easing, or buying up assets to boost the economy.
– CNNMoney.com reporters Blake Ellis and Annalyn Censky contributed to this report.