The S&P 500 was essentially unchanged on Tuesday as worries over a new variant of COVID-19 and downbeat economic data dampened enthusiasm over the passage of a long-awaited pandemic relief bill in Washington.
The pound fell Monday as investors continued to sweat over the prospect of the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal amid ongoing differences on fishing quotas, with just nine days to go until the year-end transition deadline.
IAC jumped 14% after saying it would spin off Vimeo, its video software company, to shareholders of the mother company.
Crude oil prices softened again on Tuesday as the implications of a new strain of the Covid-19 virus for global demand sunk in, while a sharp drop in U.S. consumer confidence also kept the mood subdued.
"Buy the rumor, sell the fact," is an adage that investors in gold probably know as well as those who punt on stocks.