Stocks continue to show a lack of direction in mid-day trading on Monday after seeing some weakness last week. The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The major averages have moved to the upside in recent trading and are currently posting modest gains. The Dow is up 4.92 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 13,162.89, the Nasdaq is up 10.33 points or 0.3 percent at 3,080.12 and the S&P 500 is up 3.51 points or 0.3 percent at 1,414.64.
A lack of major U.S. economic data is contributing to the lackluster performance on Wall Street, with traders looking ahead to the Kansas City Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole symposium.
Fed Chairman Bernanke is among those that are expected to speak at the event on Friday along with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and International Monetary Fund President Christine Lagarde.
Ahead of the speeches, reports on U.S. consumer confidence, pending home sales, and personal income and spending may attract some attention.
Despite the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets, shares of Apple (AAPL: Quote) have moved notably higher, with the iPad and iPhone maker up by 2.1 percent.
The gain by Apples comes after the company was awarded more than $1 billion in damages in a patent infringement lawsuit against rival Samsung.
Shares of Dollar Thrifty (DTG: Quote) are also seeing strength after the car rental company agreed to be acquired by rival Hertz Global (HTZ: Quote) in a deal valued at about $2.3 billion. The deal values Dollar Thrifty at $87.50 per share, an 8 percent premium to its closing price on Friday.
Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK: Quote) is also posting a standout gain after agreeing to be acquired by M&T Bank (MTB: Quote) in a transaction valued at approximately $3.7 billion. Shares of Hudson City are currently up by 16.2 percent.
Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves in mid-day trading, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Nonetheless, notable strength has emerged among electronic storage stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index. Quantum (QTM: Quote) and Hutchinson Technology (HTCH: Quote) are posting strong gains.
Healthcare provider, networking, and oil service stocks have also moved to the upside on the day, while weakness is visible among trucking and housing stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Monday. China's Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and edged up by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European averages moved notably higher over the course of the trading day. The French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while the German DAX Index surged up by 1.1 percent. The U.K. market was closed for a public holiday.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved moderately higher after turning lower over the course of the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.7 basis points at 1.651 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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