Stocks struggled for direction in choppy, low-volume trading Tuesday, after logging their biggest gain last week in almost two years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped into negative territory, after closing higher for the fifth session in the previous session.
Among the blue-chip index, Hewlett-Packard declined, while Chevron gained.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were mixed. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, gained above 16.
Among key S&P sectors, financials and utilities led the laggards, while energy gained.
Stocks closed sharply higher Friday to finish their best week almost two years. However, volume is expected to remain thin amid shortened trading week, which could increase volatility. Markets were closed on Monday for the Independence Day holiday.
Greece’s austerity plan had eased market concerns temporarily and now the focus turns to the U.S. debt ceiling issue, according to Marc Scudillo, managing officer of EisnerAmper Wealth Management.
Later this week, investor focus will shift to jobs, with key employment newsexpected Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“No one’s expecting jobs to rally quickly in the short-term,” said Scudillo, although he expects the trend to improve in the latter part of the year. “Once we get beyond the debt concerns, then companies will hopefully have the incentive and the initiative to bring on more labor because of more demand.”