After seeing considerable volatility in the previous session, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Thursday. The major averages are showing only modest moves after ending the previous session mixed.
The choppy trading comes as traders continue to digest the Federal Reserve's announcement of its decision to extend its "Operation Twist" program until the end of the year. The program had previously been due to expire this month.
"Operation Twist" involves replacing short-term securities in the Fed's bond portfolio with longer-term securities in an effort to push already low long-term interest rates even lower.
Traders are also digesting the Labor Department's report on initial jobless claims in the week ended June 16th, which showed that claims fell modestly for the week but still came in above analyst estimates.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although considerable weakness has emerged among gold stocks. The NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is down by 2.3 percent, with the weakness in the sector coming amid a sharp drop by the price of gold.
Semiconductor, networking, and computer hardware stocks have also come under pressure, contributing to a pullback by the tech-heavy Nasdaq. On the other hand, modest strength is visible among airline and utilities stocks.
The major averages are currently turning in another mixed performance, with the Dow posting a modest gain. While the Dow is up 10.59 points or 0.1 percent at 12,834.98, the Nasdaq is down 9.59 points or 0.3 percent at 2,920.86 and the S&P 500 is down 1.63 points or 0.1 percent at 1,354.06.
by RTT Staff Writer
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