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Stocks May Give Back Ground In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary


After climbing to record highs in the previous session, stocks may give back some ground in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 22 points.

Profit taking may contribute to early weakness on Wall Street, as traders cash in on the upward move seen over the past few sessions.

Nonetheless, trading activity may be somewhat subdued as traders look ahead to the release of key economic data in the coming days.

Reports on consumer prices and weekly jobless claims are due to be released on Thursday, with data on retail sales, industrial production and consumer sentiment is scheduled for Friday.

A report released by the Labor Department this morning showed producer prices rose by slightly less than expected in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged up by 0.2 percent in August after slipping by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.3 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices inched up by 0.1 percent in August after dipping by 0.1 percent in July. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday, adding to the strong gains posted on Monday. With the upward move, the major averages all climbed to new record closing highs.

The major averages finished the day moderately higher. The Dow rose 61.49 points or 0.3 percent to 22,118.86, the Nasdaq climbed 22.02 points or 0.3 percent to 6,454.28 and the S&P 500 advanced 8.37 points or 0.3 percent to 2,496.48.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.44 to $48.67 a barrel after inching up $0.16 to $48.23 a barrel on Tuesday. Gold futures, which slipped $3 to $1,332.70 an ounce in the previous session, are rising $4.80 to $1,337.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.97 yen compared to the 110.17 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1985 compared to yesterday's $1.1967.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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