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Major Averages Posting Modest Losses In Mid-Day Trading - U.S. Commentary


After showing a lack of direction earlier in the session, stocks are seeing modest weakness in mid-day trading on Tuesday. The pullback comes after the major averages moved notably higher over the two previous sessions.

Currently, the major averages are in negative territory, The Dow is down 78.88 points or 0.3 percent at 24,522.39, the Nasdaq is down is down 0.69 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 6,981.27 and the S&P 500 is down 4.11 points or 0.2 percent at 2,651.89.

The mixed performance on Wall Street comes as traders are looking ahead to the release of reports on consumer and producer price inflation in the coming days.

Indications of rising inflation have recently raised concerns among traders that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at faster than previously anticipated rate.

Reaction to reports on retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, and homebuilder confidence may also impact trading.

Energy stocks are seeing considerable weakness on the day amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil. Crude oil for March delivery is dipping $0.16 to $59.13 a barrel.

Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 1.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is down 1.2 percent.

Chemical and semiconductor stocks have also moved to the downside, while notable strength is visible among tobacco stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.3 percent. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength following recent weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.3 basis points at 2.844 percent.

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