Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

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U.S. Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction After Early Advance

3 min read

Stocks have fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday after moving to the upside early in the day. The major averages have recently been bouncing back and forth across unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 20.29 points or 0.2 percent at 11,161.85, the Dow is down 79.86 points or 0.3 percent at 27,860.61 and the S&P 500 is down 7.54 points or 0.2 percent at 3,391.42.

Strength among tech stocks contributed to the early advance on Wall Street, extending the significant rebound seen in the previous session.

However, Apple (AAPL) has recently been a key driver of the markets, and the tech giant has pulled back near the unchanged line after jumping as much as 2.7 percent in early trading.

The subsequent volatility shown by the broader markets comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook following the wild swings seen in recent sessions.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly came in unchanged in the week ended September 5th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims came in at 884,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 846,000 from the 881,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The report also showed an increase in continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed producer prices in the U.S. increased by slightly more than expected in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.3 percent in August after climbing by 0.6 percent in July. Economists had expected prices to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices increased by 0.4 percent in August following a 0.5 percent advance in July. Core prices were also expected to tick up by 0.2 percent.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the volatility being shown by the broader markets.

Energy stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, however, with an unexpected weekly increase in crude oil inventories weighing on the sector.

Reflecting the weakness among energy stocks, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 1.5 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 1.3 percent, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is down by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, airline stocks have pulled back off their best levels but continue to see notable strength after bucking the uptrend on Wednesday. The NYSE Arca Airline Index is currently up by 1.9 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved modestly lower on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the downward move seen over the course of the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.2 basis points at 0.715 percent.

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2020-09-10 12:08:17

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