Stocks have shown a notable move to the downside over the course of early trading on Friday after ending the previous session sharply higher. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory, offsetting yesterday's gains.
The major averages have seen some further downside in the past few minutes, hitting new lows for the young session. The Dow is down 106.51 points or 0.8 percent at 13,379.46, the Nasdaq is down 20.23 points or 0.6 percent at 3,116.37 and the S&P 500 is down 10.39 points or 0.7 percent at 1,436.76.
The early weakness on Wall Street is partly due to continued concerns about the financial situation in Europe, with traders waiting on the results of stress tests of Spanish banks.
While the unveiling of Spain's budget for 2013 contributed to the rally that was seen on Thursday, analysts have noted that the country still faces difficult times ahead.
Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "The initial reaction yesterday was that maybe the Spanish news was enough to satisfy any potential conditions brought upon them with an eventual bailout request. Either way, Spain will be asking for help."
"Noon time we'll see how much money the Spanish banking system will be thought to need for recaps, with 60 billion euros expected," he added. "The ESM though won't give Spain the money until banking oversight in the Euro zone is up and running and that may not be until 2013."
Further selling pressure was recently generated by a report from the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago showing an unexpected contraction in Chicago-area business activity in the month of September.
The ISM Chicago said its business barometer dropped to 49.7 in September from 53.0 in August, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in business activity. With the drop, the barometer fell to its lowest level in three years.
Transportation stocks are seeing considerable weakness in early trading, dragging the Dow Jones Transportation Average down by 1.4 percent. With the loss, the average has fallen to its lowest intraday level in over three months.
Housing, trucking, and steel stocks are also posting notable losses, moving lower along with most of the major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock market across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Friday, although Japanese stocks bucked the uptrend. While Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.9 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned lower over the course of the trading day. The French CAC 40 Index has tumbled 1.2 percent, while German DAX Index has dipped 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are moving modestly higher after ending a recent winning streak on Thursday. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.3 basis points at 1.627 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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