Global Stocks Lower Tuesday

(AP) -- Global stocks mostly ticked lower Tuesday as investors remained on edge following last week's sharp sell-off.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.2% shortly after markets opened. Most Asian markets gained, though stocks pulled back as trading progressed. Futures pointed to an opening loss of 0.7% for the S&P 500 after the index rose for a second consecutive session Monday.

The moves followed last week's vertiginous plunge where the S&P 500 fell more than 5% in a broad selloff sparked by signs of increasing inflation and rising bond yields. Bets on continuing low market volatility were upended, with the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, a measure of expected swings in the S&P 500, ending the week up nearly 70%.

Investors say a strong global economy and solid earnings will continue to offer support, but the market recovery will be uneven.

"There is enough robust economic momentum and we still see the glass as half full," said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "But volatility will persist and we can see some more choppiness in the next few weeks."

The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.833% from 2.857% on Monday. It hit a four-year high of 2.902% intraday Monday.

The jump in bond yields to start 2018 was one reason behind the recent global stock rout, and analysts say rates could rise more as central banks normalize policy and the global economy continues its upswing.

If the 10-year Treasury yield reaches 3% it could trigger further market volatility, said Eugene Leow, a rates strategist at DBS. The bond's yield bottomed out at 1.32% in July 2016.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, fell 0.3%. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was up 0.4% to $62.83 a barrel, while gold was up 0.3%.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose to 1.3% after dropping nine of the past 11 trading days. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1% ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Despite the choppiness in Tuesday trading, Jim Fong, portfolio manager at Oceanwide Asset Management Ltd. in Hong Kong, said last week's rout provides a chance to hunt for bargains.

"It's a golden opportunity to accumulate some good, quality stocks," he said, adding that Oceanwide has increased positions in Asian tech stocks.

(BE)

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