With traders expressing continued concerns about the economic outlook, stocks are seeing significant weakness in late morning trading on Thursday. The major averages have moved notably lower, extending the downward move seen over the past few sessions.
The weakness on Wall Street comes as last week's disappointing jobs report continues to weigh on investor sentiment along with continued uncertainty about the European debt crisis.
Traders also continue to digest yesterday's release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which gave no hint that a third round of quantitative easing is imminent.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing a notable drop in weekly jobless claims, as the decrease largely reflected seasonal distortions.
Gold stocks are once again turning in some of the market's worst performances, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3 percent to a nearly two-month low. The weakness among gold stocks comes as the price of the precious metal is falling by more than $20 an ounce.
Concerns about the outlook for global demand are also contributing to significant weakness among steel stocks, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 2.6 percent. Reflecting weakness in the tech sector, networking, computer hardware, and semiconductor stocks are also posting steep losses.
Most of the major sectors have also moved to the downside on the day, with considerable weakness visible among airline, brokerage, and telecom stocks.
The major averages have bounced well off their worst levels in recent trading but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 60.36 points or 0.5 percent at 12,544.17, the Nasdaq is down 39.52 points or 1.4 percent at 2,848.46 and the S&P 500 is down 11.24 points or 0.8 percent at 1,330.21.
by RTT Staff Writer
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