Stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday after showing a lack of direction earlier in the session. The major averages have slid more firmly into negative territory, although selling pressure remains relatively subdued.
The weakness that has emerged on Wall Street reflects lingering concerns about the outlook for the global economy amid continued uncertainty about the financial situation in Europe and the release of a disappointing report on Chinese manufacturing.
Lackluster U.S. economic data has also contributed to a lack of confidence among investors, with a report from the Commerce Department showing a drop by a key indicator of business spending.
Electronic storage stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, dragging the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index down by 2.6 percent. NetApp (NTAP) is leading the sector lower after reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings but providing disappointing guidance.
Considerable weakness has also emerged among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. Acme Packet (APKT) and Polycom (PLCM) are turning in two of the sector's worst performances.
Resource-related stocks such as steel, oil service, and gold stocks have also come under pressure amid concerns about the outlook for demand.
While most of the other major sectors have also moved lower, notable strength remains visible among airline and tobacco stocks.
The major averages have seen some further downside in recent trading, hitting new lows for the session. The Dow is down 63.84 points or 0.5 percent at 12,432.31, the Nasdaq is down 25.41 points or 0.9 percent at 2,824.71 and the S&P 500 is down 6.72 points or 0.5 percent at 1,312.14.
by RTT Staff Writer
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