Stock-market futures waver as boost from manufacturing data fades

Stock-index futures were little changed Tuesday, with investors on the sidelines a day after a rally inspired by upbeat manufacturing data out of China and the U.S.

What are major indexes doing?

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM9, -0.05% fell 4 points, or less than 0.1%, to 26,254, while S&P 500 futures ESM9, +0.05% edged up 2.25 points, or 0.1%, to 2,873. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM9, +0.07% were up 7.50 points, also 0.1%, to 7,506.25.

What’s driving the market?

Investors appeared to be taking a breather after a Monday rally that saw the Dow DJIA, +1.27% rally 301 points, or 1.2%, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.16% rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq COMP, +1.29% gained 1.2%. Stocks got off to a strong start after a purchasing index reading for China pointed to the first expansion in activity in the country’s manufacturing sector in four months, which was followed by a stronger-than-expected reading for the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing index.

Data out Tuesday on durable goods orders, however, could be helping temper optimism, after the Commerce Department said they fell 1.6% in the month of February, while a key gauge of business investment also fell by 0.1%, the third decline in four months.

Investors are also keeping an eye on the Treasury market. A closely watched measure of the yield curve — the spread between the yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.07% and the 3-month Treasury bill TMUBMUSD03M, +0.42% — turned negative, or inverted, on March 22. Such an inversion is viewed as a reliable warning of a potential recession a year or more in the future.

Read: Why the world’s biggest bond investor is dismissing the yield curve’s recession warning

A subsequent retreat by Treasurys, however, has seen yields at the long end rise in

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