The stock market appeared to be on solid ground on Tuesday morning, with market participants carefully balancing their positive views about what a post-pandemic future will bring against the possibility for disappointment in the near term. As of 11:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was down about 28 points to 32,703. The S&P 500 index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) inched higher by 3 points to 3,943, while the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) gave up 20 points to 13,357.
Those small moves gave the impression that stock market investors are generally comfortable with the way things are going right now. But for the second day in a row, another often-neglected part of the stock market acted very differently. That could be a sign of difficulty ahead — and might even presage a sharp and painful downturn in the near future.