U.S. stocks were little changed Tuesday, drifting between small gains and losses, with investor attention settling on employment data coming at the end of the week as major benchmarks remained on track to close out August near all-time highs.

What are major indexes doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 40 points, or 0.1%, to 35,437.

The S&P 500

was up less than a point at 4,529.

The Nasdaq Composite

declined 10 points, or 0.1%, to 15,256.

On Monday, the S&P 500 booked its 53rd record close of 2021 and the Nasdaq Composite also finished at an all-time high. The S&P 500 was on track to end the first eight months of the year with its strongest year-to-date gain since 1997.

See: The S&P 500 hasn’t seen a year-to-date rally this strong since 1997. What’s next?

For the month, the Dow was up 1.3% through Monday’s close, while the S&P 500 was 3% higher, the Nasdaq was up 4% and the small-cap Russell 2000

was holding a 1.8% gain.

What’s driving the market?

Investor attention is on U.S. jobs data coming at the end of the week, analysts noted. The August jobs report on Friday will give markets their next major chance to estimate when and how the Federal Reserve will begin slowing pandemic-era measures to add liquidity to markets.

“We are looking for two more months of strong jobs reports — four reports make a trend — for tapering to begin on a November or December timeline,” said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments, in a note to clients.

“The biggest single risk to this outlook in our view is widespread school closures. If schools don’t open for in-person learning, the constraint on labor supply could contribute to the wage-price spiral investors fear,” she said.

The Conference Board said its closely followed index of consumer confidence slid to a six-month low at 113.8 this month from a revised 125.1 in July, reflecting concerns about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Analysts have noted that high-frequency data has indicated that declines in confidence have yet to translate into a sharp slowdown in activity.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of the near-term risks to the economic recovery created by rising prices and the COVID-19 resurgence. The recent moderation in the collective consumer mood notwithstanding, confidence is still relatively high and at a level consistent with solid consumer spending,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors.

Related: Stock-market investors scour alternative data for delta variant clues—here’s what they see

In Asia, stock markets spent much of the day in the red after weak manufacturing and nonmanufacturing purchasing managers indexes (PMI) data from China caused stocks to wobble. The manufacturing PMI slightly underperformed but remained in expansionary mode at 50.1, but the nonmanufacturing PMI surprised in a tumble from 53.3 to 47.5 this month.

See: The S&P 500 is headed for 5,000, says UBS. Here’s the when and how.

The focus in Europe was on the Eurozone flash consumer-price index for August, which rose 3% year-over-year, above the 2.8% expected.

In other U.S. economic data, home prices rose 18.6% annually in June, up from a 16.8% increase in May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index. Also, the Chicago purchasing managers index dropped to 66.8 in August from a previous reading of 73.4.

Which companies are in focus?

Shares of Zoom Video Communications Inc.

tumbled 16%, after the videoconferencing company delivered a tepid third-quarter outlook late Monday, though it second-quarter results topped expectations.

Robinhood Markets Inc.

shares edged up 0.5%, bouncing after coming under pressure Monday following remarks byr Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. Wall Street’s top regulator told Barron’s that a ban on payment for order flow “is on the table.” Payment for order flow is a practice where market makers pay brokers to execute their orders. Critics contend it carries a conflict of interest that’s detrimental to individual investors.

Shares of Designer Brands Inc.

fell more than 10% after the parent of footwear retailer DSW delivered results that blew past second-quarter earnings forecasts.

What are other markets doing?

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

rose 1.8 basis points to 1.30%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was flat.

Oil futures traded lower as Gulf Coast refineries struggled to reopen following Hurricane Ida, with the U.S. benchmark

down 0.6% at $68.80 a barrel. Gold futures

hovered near unchanged, edging down 60 cents, to $1,811.60 an ounce.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 UK:UKX and the pan-European Stoxx 600 XX:SXXP both closed 0.4% lower.

Asian stocks managed to eke out gains, with Tokyo’s Nikkei 225

rising 1.1% as the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index

ticked up 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite

edged 0.5% higher

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