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Major Averages Close Firmly In The Red

Stocks moved moderately lower over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, giving back some ground after ending the previous session sharply higher. The markets showed a negative bias throughout the session, although selling pressure was somewhat subdued.

While many of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, significant weakness was visible among housing stocks. Reflecting the weakness in the housing sector, the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index tumbled by 1.9 percent.

Radian Group (RDN) helped to lead the housing sector lower after Moody's downgraded the company's senior debt rating. Shares of Radian ended the day down by 4.6 percent.

Significant weakness was also visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent loss posted by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and Juniper Networks (JNPR) turned in two of the sector's worst performances.

Biotechnology, natural gas, and airline stocks also showed notable moves to the downside on the day, although selling pressure was relatively subdued.

The major averages saw some volatility in late-day trading but all finished the day in the red. The Dow fell 82.79 points or 0.6 percent to 13,032.75, the Nasdaq dipped 11.37 points or 0.4 percent to 3,031.45 and the S&P 500 slid 5.64 points or 0.4 percent to 1,385.14.

by RTT Staff Writer

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