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Stocks Firmly In The Red In Mid-Afternoon Trading - U.S. Commentary

After showing a lack of direction in early trading, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, extending the downward move seen late in the previous session.

The weakness that has emerged on Wall Street is partly due to the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing that U.S. durable goods orders rose by less than economists had anticipated in the month of February.

A drop by commodities prices is also contributing to the pullback by stocks, with resource stocks helping to lead the way lower. Gold stocks are seeing substantial weakness as the price of the precious metal falls by more than $28 an ounce.

Significant weakness is also visible among oil service stocks, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 2 percent. The weakness in the sector comes as the price of crude oil has tumbled by more than $2 a barrel.

Outside of the resource sector, healthcare provider, railroad, chemical, and brokerage stocks are also posting notable losses on the day.

The major averages have fallen to new lows for the session and are currently posting steep losses. The Dow is down 118.93 points or 0.9 percent at 13,078.80, the Nasdaq is down 31.24 points or 1 percent at 3,089.11 and the S&P 500 is down 14.30 points or 1 percent at 1,398.22.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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