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Stocks Staging Recovery Attempt After Seeing Early Weakness - U.S. Commentary

After showing a notable move to the downside in early trading on Monday, stocks have regained some ground over the course of the morning. The major averages have climbed well off their lows for the session but remain in the red.

The early weakness was partly due to a negative reaction to a statement from the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, which called for a further enhancement of Europe's bailout fund before the rest of the G20 can consider increasing their contribution to the International Monetary Fund's resources.

Upbeat housing data contributed to the subsequent recovery attempt, as a report from the National Association of Realtors showed that its pending home sales index rose by more than expected in the month of January, reaching its highest level since April of 2010.

Housing stocks have shown a notable turnaround on the heels of the data, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 1 percent after falling by as much as 1.2 percent in early trading. Tobacco and airline stocks have also moved to the upside.

On the other hand, notable weakness remains visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. Pharmaceutical, steel, and brokerage stocks are also seeing continued weakness.

The major averages are currently posting modest losses, well off their worst levels of the day. The Dow is down 15.71 points or 0.1 percent at 12,967.24, the Nasdaq is down 3.71 points or 0.1 percent at 2,960.04 and the S&P 500 is down 1.75 points or 0.1 percent at 1,363.99.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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