After moving moderately lower at the open, stocks have seen some further downside over the course of morning trading on Thursday. The major averages have slid more firmly into negative territory, with the S&P 500 pulling back below 1,400.
The early weakness on Wall Street was partly due to uncertainty about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole symposium on Friday, with some traders looking to safe havens ahead of the Fed Chief's remarks.
Further selling pressure was generated by a report from Bloomberg News indicating that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government will delay deciding whether to seek a sovereign bailout until the aid conditions are clear.
Networking stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Networking Index down by 3.4 percent. Ciena (CIEN) is leading the sector lower after reporting a wider than expected third quarter loss and providing disappointing guidance.
Significant weakness has also emerged among electronic storage stocks, as reflected by the 2.6 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index. Oil service, steel, and semiconductor stocks are also posting steep losses amid broad based selling pressure.
The major averages have edged up off their lows in the past few minutes but remain firmly negative. The Dow is down 104.07 points or 0.8 percent at 13,003.41, the Nasdaq is down 30.63 points or 1 percent at 3,050.56 and the S&P 500 is down 11.47 points or 0.8 percent at 1,399.02.
by RTT Staff Writer
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