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Major Averages Turning In Mixed Performance In Mid-Day Trading - U.S. Commentary

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Following the rally seen last week, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages have spent the day lingering close to the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 13.30 points or 0.2 percent at 7,149.85, the Dow is down 26.43 points or 0.1 percent at 25,269.44 and the S&P 500 is down 0.09 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,743.06.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent run to record highs.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of key reports on retail sales and producer and consumer prices later this week.

Financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are also due to report their quarterly results on Friday as earnings season gets underway.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Gold stocks are seeing considerable weakness, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index slumping by 1.7 percent.

The weakness in the gold sector comes amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal, as gold for February delivery is sliding $4.70 to $1,317.60 an ounce.

Biotechnology and airline stocks have also shown notable moves to the downside, while strength is visible among trucking and railroad stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending a recent downward move. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by nearly a basis point at 2.485 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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