stock market

Market Steadies Itself, but Growth Jitters Return

U.S. stocks were mixed as the market mostly stabilized a day after a big drop.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,049 on Tuesday. It plunged 312 points the day before.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index eked out a gain of two points, just 0.1 percent, to close at 1,884. The Nasdaq dropped 26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,517.

Other market barometers were also mixed. More stocks fell than rose on the New York Exchange.

Health care stocks rose 1 percent, bouncing back from a plunge a day earlier.

Energy stocks followed the price of oil higher.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.07 percent.

PHARMA Drugmakers have been a weak spot for the market recently as investors worry that lawmakers will introduce new regulations to control prices. On Tuesday, the industry rallied in the early afternoon before losing steam. The index has slumped 26 percent from its peak in July, putting it in a bear market, Wall Street terminology for a drop of 20 percent or more.

THE QUOTE Brad Sorensen, a director at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, said he wasn’t surprised by the sell-off in biotech stocks, given how sharply valuations have risen in recent years.

“The biotech industry was concerning to us,” Mr. Sorensen said. “It clearly had bubblelike characteristics with a lot of speculative money moving into it and a lot of I.P.O.s.”

BYE-BYE BABA Yahoo rose 86 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $ 28.45 after the company said that it still planned to spin off its stake in China’s Alibaba Group. Yahoo is moving ahead with the plan even though the IRS has yet to rule on the tax payments that the company could face from the gains on its initial investment.

SOUR COCKTAIL Worries over China have resurfaced in recent days, pushing commodity prices lower and hurting the stocks of mining companies. The fallout from Volkswagen’s emissions-rigging scandal is also a worry as investors fear a regulatory clampdown on the auto industry. At the same time, Federal Reserve officials are signaling that they will raise interest rates this year, the beginning of the end of the ultralow interest rates that have underpinned stock markets for the last six years.

MORE CONFIDENT Investors got some good news on the economy from a report that showed that American consumers were feeling more confident this month. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose again to 103 in September after surging in August to 101.3. The September reading was the highest since January.

EUROPEAN MARKETS In Germany, the DAX edged down 0.3 percent, and in France, the CAC 40 also declined 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 fell 0.8 percent in Britain.

ENERGY Benchmark crude oil rose 88 cents to $ 45.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 90 cents to $ 48.91.

CURRENCIES AND BONDS Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.07 percent from 2.09 percent a day earlier. The euro edged up to $ 1.1248 and the dollar slipped to 119.68 yen.

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