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Stocks Move Mostly Lower In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary

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Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Tuesday after turning higher over the course of the previous session. The major averages have slid firmly into negative territory.

Currently, the Dow is down 132.89 points or 0.6 percent at 23,306.81, the Nasdaq is down 33.76 points or 0.5 percent at 6,723.83 and the S&P 500 is down 13.10 points or 0.5 percent at 2,571.74.

Lingering uncertainty about the outlook for the Republican tax reform proposal is weighing on the markets as the House prepares to vote on their bill later this week.

The House bill has significant differences from the Senate version, raising concerns about whether GOP lawmakers will be able to work together to combine the legislation.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by more than anticipated in the month of October.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.4 percent in October, matching the increase seen in September. Economists had expected prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices also rose by 0.4 percent in October after a matching increase in the previous month. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Energy stocks have shown a notable move to the downside in morning trading amid a decrease by the price of crude oil. Crude for December delivery is sliding $0.62 to $56.14 a barrel.

Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2.9 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural gas Index is down by 2.6 percent.

Steel, chemical, and biotechnology stocks are also seeing significant weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed just below the unchanged line, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped by 0.1 percent.

The major European markets have also moved lower on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the upside after ending the previous session roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.9 basis points at 2.381 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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