Stocks moved sharply lower at the start of trading on Thursday, giving back some ground after moving mostly higher over the course of the two previous sessions. The major averages showed notable moves back to the downside.
The major averages have bounced off their lows for the young session in the past few minutes but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 98.85 points or 0.8 percent at 12,528.16, the Nasdaq is down 23.73 points or 0.8 percent at 2,851.59 and the S&P 500 is down 8.77 points or 0.7 percent at 1,323.08.
The initial weakness on Wall Street reflected continued concerns about the European debt crisis as European hold a two-day summit in Brussels.
Most traders are not optimistic about the summit resulting in any meaningful developments, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already ruled out the idea of common eurozone bonds.
Traders are also keeping a close eye on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is due to announce its decision regarding the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.
The court's decision could have a significant impact on the presidential race, as the law is seen as one of President Obama's main domestic accomplishments.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off the Labor Department's report on initial jobless claims in the week ended June 23rd.
The report showed that jobless claims dipped to 386,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 392,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 385,000 from the 387,000 originally reported for the previous week.
"Bottom line, the jobs picture is still lackluster and certainly getting no help from the slowing global economy," Boockvar said.
Banking stocks are turning in some of the markets' worst performances in early trading, with the KBW Bank Index down by 1.2 percent. Financial giants JP Morgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) are leading the sector lower.
Gold, software, electronic storage, and biotechnology stocks are also posting notable losses, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Thursday. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 1.7 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day down by 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown notable moves to the downside. The French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.9 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 1.4 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are moving higher amid the pullback by stocks. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.1 basis points at 1.58 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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