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

After moving notably lower in morning trading on Thursday, stocks continue to see considerable weakness in the mid-afternoon. The major averages remain stuck firmly in negative territory, adding to the losses posted in the two previous sessions.

Profit taking has contributed to the weakness on Wall Street, with some traders cashing in on the recent strength in the markets amid calls by a number of analysts for a correction.

Traders have also reacted negatively to the latest batch of U.S. economic data, including a report from the Labor Department showing weekly jobless claims at a nearly four-year low but above economist estimates.

While selling pressure has waned from earlier in the session, financial stocks continue to post steep losses on the day. The NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index is down by 2.1 percent, while the KBW Bank Index is down by 1.5 percent.

Housing stocks also continue to see significant weakness, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 2 percent. Energy stocks also remain under pressure amid a notable decrease by the price of crude oil.

Most of the other major sectors are also seeing weakness on the day, while health insurance stocks continue to buck the downtrend.

The major averages have climbed off their worst levels of the day but remain stuck in the red. The Dow is down 45.44 points or 0.4 percent at 13,080.77, the Nasdaq is down 24.20 points or 0.8 percent at 3,080.76 and the S&P 500 is down 9.23 points or 0.7 percent at 1,396.31.

by RTT Staff Writer

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