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Major Averages Turn Mixed In Early Trading

4/24/2012 9:51 AM ET

Stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Tuesday as traders digest the latest batch of quarterly results. The major averages are showing only modest moves after ending the previous session firmly in the red.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as some traders are staying on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates at near-zero levels, the markets will pay close attention to any comments regarding the outlook for further quantitative easing.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although early strength has emerged among telecom stocks. AT&T (T) is helping to lead the sector higher after reporting better than expected first quarter earnings.

Strength is also visible among airline and housing stocks, while health insurance stocks have come under pressure in early trading. Reflecting the weakness in the health insurance sector, the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index is down by 2 percent.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance, with the Nasdaq posting a modest loss. While the Nasdaq is down 1.76 points or 0.1 percent at 2,968.69, the Dow is up 73.26 points or 0.6 percent at 13,000.43 and the S&P 500 is up 3.70 points or 0.3 percent at 1,370.64.

by RTT Staff Writer

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