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Stocks Seeing Continued Weakness In Mid-Afternoon Trading - U.S. Commentary

4/9/2012 2:08 PM ET

While selling pressure has waned from earlier in the session, stocks continue to see significant weakness in mid-afternoon trading on Monday. The major averages have climbed well off their lows for the session but remain stuck in the red.

The sell-off seen earlier in the session came as traders reacted to last Friday's monthly jobs report, which showed weaker than expected job growth in the month of March.

The disappointing jobs data led to renewed concerns about the economic outlook and inspired some traders to cash in on the strong upward move seen in recent months.

Despite the recovery attempt seen over the course of the session, substantial weakness remains visible among health insurance stocks. Reflecting the weakness in the health insurance sector, the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index is down by 6.7 percent.

Biotechnology stocks also continue to post steep losses on the day, resulting in a 2.7 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. Healthcare provider, chemical, brokerage, and defense stocks also continue to see considerable weakness.

Meanwhile, gold stocks are seeing strength on the day, benefiting from an increase by the price of the precious metal. With gold for June delivery climbing $15.70 to $1,645.80 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is up by 1 percent.

The major averages have pulled back off their recovery highs in the past few minutes but remain well off their worst levels. The Dow is down 104.67 points or 0.8 percent at 12,955.47, the Nasdaq is down 29.37 points or 1 percent at 3,051.13 and the S&P 500 is down 13.82 points or 1 percent at 1,384.26.

by RTT Staff Writer

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