US stocks edge higher as investors weigh economic-reopening hopes against disappointing housing data

Stock Market

US stocks traded edged higher on Tuesday as investors weighed economic-recovery optimism against disappointing housing data.

New housing starts fell by more than expected in April, reflecting supply constraints and rising home prices nationwide. Residential starts decreased 9.5% to a 1.57 million annualized rate, lower than the consensus estimate of 1.7 million compiled by Bloomberg.

The tepid trading follows a US stocks sell-off on Monday led by technology stocks as investors continued to weigh rising inflation fears. An uptick in COVID-19 cases outside of the US also hurt risk assets.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its slide, falling as much as 5.1%, to $42,547.90. Options traders have piled into bets that bitcoin will fall below $40,000 by next month following an Elon Musk tweet-storm that sent the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization tumbling.

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz for his part predicted bitcoin will be stuck somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 for four to six weeks after Musk halted Tesla payments in bitcoin and criticized its energy use.

Oil prices slid. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 0.6%, to $65.90 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 0.4%, to $69.19 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold climbed as much as 0.4% to $1,875.10 per ounce, extending a three-month high.

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