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

4/3/2012 11:03 AM ET

With traders taking a break following the strong upward move seen in the previous session, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Tuesday. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as some traders are staying on the sidelines ahead of the release of the minutes of the March Federal Reserve meeting, which are scheduled to be released at 2 pm ET.

The minutes of the meeting are likely to be closely scrutinized for indications regarding the likelihood of further quantitative easing by the central bank.

Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off the release of a report from the Commerce Department showing that factory orders rebounded by slightly less than expected in the month of February.

While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, healthcare provider stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day. The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Provider Index has risen by 1.2 percent amid strong gains by Health Management Associates (HMA) and Tenet (THC).

Airline stocks are also seeing significant strength, resulting in a 1.4 percent gain by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. On the other hand, gold stocks are moving back to the downside along with the price of the precious metal.

The major averages currently continue to turn in a mixed performance, with the Nasdaq posting a modest gain. While the Nasdaq is up 8.03 points or 0.3 percent at 3,127.73, the Dow is down 9.77 points or 0.1 percent at 13,254.72 and the S&P 500 is down 1.03 points or 0.1 percent at 1,418.01.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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