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Stocks May Turn In Another Lackluster Performance - U.S. Commentary

Wallstreet4 111212 06Aug13

Stocks may continue to experience choppy trading on Tuesday after turning in a lackluster performance throughout the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets. While the Dow futures are down by 21 points, the Nasdaq futures are up by 1.25 points.

Uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets may keep traders on the sidelines after last week's strength lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record highs.

Traders may also be taking a breather following the slew of market-moving events last week, including the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting and the closely watched monthly jobs report.

The economic calendar for this week is relatively light, although trading could be impacted by the Commerce Department's recently released report on the U.S. trade deficit in June.

The report showed that the trade deficit narrowed to $34.2 billion in June from a revised $44.1 billion in May. Economists had expected the deficit to narrow to $43.0 billion from the $45.0 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The much narrower than expected trade deficit came as the value of exports rose 2.2 percent to $191.2 billion, while the value of imports fell 2.5 percent to $225.4 billion.

With the big decrease in the size of the trade deficit compared to the previous month, the deficit was at its lowest level since October of 2009.

Traders may also keep an eye on comments from Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans, who is due to hold a press breakfast at 9:30 am ET.

After seeing some strength last week, stocks turned in a lackluster performance throughout the trading session on Monday. The major averages showed modest moves for much of the session before eventually ending the day mixed.

While the Dow and S&P 500 pulled back off last Friday's record highs, the Nasdaq closed modestly higher. The Nasdaq inched up 3.36 points or 0.1 percent to 3,692.95, while the Dow dipped 46.23 points or 0.3 percent to 15,612.13 and the S&P 500 slipped 2.53 points or 0.2 percent to 1,707.14.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed once again. While the German DAX Index is posted a loss of less than a tenth of a percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just above the unchanged line and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.41 to $106.97 a barrel after falling $0.38 to $106.56 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, gold futures are sliding $15.10 to $1,287.30 an ounce. In the previous session, gold dipped $8.10 to $1,302.40 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 98.12 yen compared to the 98.30 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.3304 compared to yesterday's $1.3258.

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