After showing a strong upward move over the course of the previous session, stocks have moved back to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major averages have slid into negative territory, although selling pressure has remained relatively subdued.
The major averages have climbed off their lows for the young session but currently remain in the red. The Dow is down 41.61 points or 0.3 percent at 13,937.69, the Nasdaq is down 5.65 points or 0.2 percent at 3,165.93 and the S&P 500 is down 3.56 points or 0.2 percent at 1,507.73.
The early weakness on Wall Street is partly due to lingering uncertainty about the financial situation in Europe ahead of Thursday's monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank.
Along with the monetary policy meeting, the leaders of the European Union member states are due to hold a two-day meeting in Brussels beginning on Thursday.
In a letter inviting the 27 national leaders to the summit, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy tried to instill a sense of urgency among them to adopt a financial plan for 2014-2020.
Amid a lack of major U.S. economic data, traders are also keeping a close eye on the latest batch of earnings news.
Shares of C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) have moved sharply lower in early trading after the freight and shipping company reported fourth quarter earnings that missed estimates.
Aflac (AFL), Genworth Financial (GNW), and Marathon Oil (MRO) have also come under pressure after reporting their quarterly results.
On the other hand, entertainment giant Disney (DIS) has moved to the upside after reporting first quarter earnings that fell year-over-year but came in above analyst estimates. The company also reported better than expected revenue growth.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although some weakness is visible among networking, brokerage, and oil service stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index soared by 3.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended the day up by 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index have tumbled by 1.4 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved higher after ending the previous session firmly in the red. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.6 basis points at 1.98 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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