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Choppy Trading Persists In The Late Morning - U.S. Commentary

3/19/2012 11:14 AM ET

With traders taking a break following the recent rally, stocks continue to show a lack of direction in late morning trading on Monday. The major averages are showing only modest moves after reaching multi-year closing highs last week.

The lackluster performance on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets.

Traders appear wary of cashing in on the recent strength amid concerns about missing out on further upside for the markets.

Despite the choppy trading, considerable strength has emerged among financial stocks, with both banking and brokerage stocks showing strong upward moves. The KBW Bank Index and the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index are up by 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Steel, gold, and telecom stocks have also moved to the upside, while moderate weakness is visible among retail, railroad, and software stocks.

The major averages currently continue to turn in a mixed performance, with the Dow posting a modest loss. While the Dow is down 15.25 points or 0.1 percent at 13,217.37, the Nasdaq is up 9.00 points or 0.3 percent at 3,064.26 and the S&P 500 is up 2.31 points or 0.2 percent at 1,406.48.

by RTT Staff Writer

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