After moving notably lower over the past few sessions, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Wednesday. The major averages have turned mixed but are showing only modest moves.
The major averages are currently on opposite sides of the unchanged line, with the Nasdaq posting a modest loss. While the Nasdaq is down 1.41 points or 0.1 percent at 2,861.58, the Dow is up 76.06 points or 0.6 percent at 12,693.38 and the S&P 500 is up 1.53 points or 0.1 percent at 1,339.84.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are digesting a mixed batch of earnings news, with disappointing news from Apple (AAPL) partly offset by upbeat results from blue chips such as Caterpillar (CAT) and Boeing (BA).
After the close of trading on Tuesday, Apple reported third quarter earnings that rose year-over-year but still came in well below analyst estimates. The iPhone and iPad maker also provided disappointing fourth quarter guidance. Shares of Apple are down by 4.4 percent on the news.
Meanwhile, shares of Caterpillar and Boeing are moving to the upside after both companies reported better than expected second quarter earnings and provided upbeat guidance. Caterpillar is up by 2.5 percent, while Boeing is up by 1.8 percent.
Ford's (F) second quarter earnings also came in above expectations, although the auto giant also said it now expects to lose more than $1 billion in Europe this year, double its previous estimate.
On a busy day on the earnings front, traders are also digesting quarterly results from well known companies such as PepsiCo (PEP), Bristol-Myers (BMY), and ConocoPhillips (COP).
While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, early strength has emerged among semiconductor stocks. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has surged up by 2.6 percent amid strong gains by Altera (ALTR) and Broadcom (BRCM).
Gold stocks have also shown a notable upward move, moving higher along with the price of the precious metal. With gold for August delivery climbing $23.20 to $1,599.40 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is up by 1.6 percent.
On the other hand, health insurance stocks have come under pressure in early trading, dragging the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index down by 4 percent. WellPoint (WLP) is leading the sector lower after reporting weaker than expected second quarter earnings and cuttings it full year guidance.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are jumping by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction following recent strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.409 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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