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Choppy Trading Remains Visible On Wall Street - U.S. Commentary


After showing a lack of direction early in the session, stocks continue to turn in a lackluster performance in mid-day trading on Wednesday. The major averages have spent much of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages continue to show only modest moves. While the Dow is up 2.75 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 22,121.61, the Nasdaq is down 7.74 points or 0.1 percent at 6,446.54 and the S&P 500 is down 1.08 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,495.40.

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

Traders may also be sticking to the sidelines ahead of the release of some key economic data over the next couple days.

Reports on consumer prices and weekly jobless claims are due to be released on Thursday, while 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.

Traders also continue to keep an eye on Washington, where House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., revealed Republicans will release an outline of their tax reform plan the week of September 25th.

Speaking to reporters, Ryan said the outline will represent a consensus between the House Ways And Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Trump administration.

Ryan said the tax writing committees would take feedback and input on the outline and then produce their bills in the weeks ahead.

Sector News

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

Oil service stocks are seeing substantial strength, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index surging up by 3.2 percent. With the jump, the index has reached its best intraday level in over a month.

The rally by oil service stocks comes amid an increase by the price of crude oil, as crude for October delivery is climbing $0.75 to $48.98 a barrel.

Natural gas stocks are also seeing considerable strength in mid-day trading, while weakness is visible among trucking, steel, and housing stocks.

Other Markets

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 also ended the day mixed. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest weakness, extending a recent downward trend. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.2 basis points at 2.183 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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