Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Wednesday after moving mostly higher over the course of the three previous sessions. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent strength, which lifted the major averages to three-month highs.
While profit taking contributed to initial weakness on Wall Street, selling pressure remained subdued amid continued optimism about the possibility of further monetary stimulus.
A rally by shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) helped the markets to recover from the early weakness, with the computer and printer maker advancing by 2.2 percent after upwardly revising its third quarter earnings guidance.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in mid-afternoon trading, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Nonetheless, notable strength is visible among health insurance stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent gain being posted by the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index. Health Net (HNT) and Humana (HUM) are turning in two of the sector's best performances.
On the other hand, electronic storage stocks have come under pressure, dragging the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index down by 1.6 percent. STEC Inc. (STEC) has helped to lead the sector lower after reporting a wider than expected second quarter loss and providing disappointing guidance.
The major averages have moved to the downside in recent trading and are currently posting modest losses. The Dow is down 13.82 points or 0.1 percent at 13,154.78, the Nasdaq is down 5.30 points or 0.2 percent at 3,010.56 and the S&P 500 is down 1.39 points or 0.1 percent at 1,399.96.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com