Stocks continue to turn in a lackluster performance in mid-afternoon trading on Wednesday following the release of a mixed batch of U.S. economic data. The major averages are currently poised to close mixed for the fifth time in the past six sessions.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders continue to express uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the release of several key U.S. economic reports.
While the New York Federal Reserve released a report showing an unexpected contraction in regional manufacturing activity, separate reports showed a bigger than expected increase in industrial production and an unexpected improvement in homebuilder confidence.
The Labor Department also released a report showing that consumer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged for the second consecutive month in July.
Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves, although networking stocks have shown a strong move back to the upside on the day. The NYSE Arca Networking Index has risen by 1.3 percent, partly offsetting the 2.3 percent loss it posted in the previous session.
Significant strength has also emerged among health insurance stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain being posted by the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index. Biotechnology, railroad, and telecom stocks are also posting notable gains.
On the other hand, steel stocks have come under pressure on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 1.4 percent. With the loss, the index is pulling back further off last Friday's nearly three-month closing high.
The major averages currently remain stuck on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Dow is down 14.45 points or 0.1 percent at 13,157.69, the Nasdaq is up 7.61 points or 0.3 percent at 3,024.89 and the S&P 500 is up 0.40 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 1,404.33.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org