NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were mixed on Wall Street on Tuesday, a day after a tumultuous session that saw the Nasdaq composite index drop below 2,000 for the first time in two years and dropped another index into bear territory.
Asian markets fell sharply in reaction to the U.S. turmoil Monday. Heavy losses happened in Japan, where concern is high over how a fragile government will deal with weaknesses in the world's second-largest economy. Stocks also fell in Europe but the losses were more modest.
In late morning trading, the Nasdaq was up 25.34 points at 1,948.72, recovering somewhat from Monday's 6.3 percent plunge that pushed the tech-heavy index below 2,000 for the first time in 27 months.
The Dow Jones industrial average was off 56.72 points to 10,151.53 in choppy trading, adding to the 436 points it lost Monday in its fifth-worst point drop. Wall Street's broadest measure, the Standard & Poor's 500 index, dropped 4.99 points to 1,175.17 and remained in bear market territory, more than 20 percent off its high.
Analysts said more bad times could still be ahead, citing weak economic data and indications that more disappointing earnings reports are still ahead.
"We've gotten down far enough that there is going to be some bargain-hunting like what we're seeing today," said Richard Dickson, technical analyst at Scott & Stringfellow. "But I don't think we've put the low on the market yet."
The Commerce Department released more evidence of an economic slowdown Tuesday, saying that sales at the nation's retailers fell by 0.2 percent in February, the first drop in three months. The weakness was led by a sharp decrease in sales at furniture and home furnishings stores and at bars and restaurants.
Asian markets were hit hard Tuesday, none more so than Japan.
A day after Japan learned that its deeply troubled economy had narrowly avoided a recession late last year, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said: "The economy itself is certainly in a state of deflation. There is no hiding that fact." Deflation, the reverse of inflation, is a decline in the prices of goods and services.
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