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Stocks May Open Roughly Flat After Yesterday's Advance - U.S. Commentary

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Stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Wednesday on the heels of the strong upward move seen in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by just 11 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after yesterday's advance lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to record closing highs.

A mixed batch of earnings news from big-name companies such as Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT) and AT&T (T) may also contribute to choppy trading on Wall Street.

Shares of Boeing are moving higher in pre-market trading after the aerospace giant reported first quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates but pulled its full-year guidance due to uncertainty surrounding the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines but is moving lower in pre-market trading.

Shares of AT&T are also seeing pre-market weakness after the telecom giant reported first quarter earnings that met estimates but weaker than expected revenues.

A light day on the U.S. economic front may also keep traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders and first quarter GDP in the coming days.

Following the lackluster performance on Monday, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. With the upward move on the day, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the session at record closing highs.

The major averages all ended the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 145.34 points or 0.6 percent to 26,656.39, the Nasdaq surged up 105.56 points or 1.3 percent to 8,120.82 and the S&P 500 jumped 25.71 points or 0.9 percent to 2,933.68.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.6 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are edging down $0.04 to $66.26 a barrel after climbing $0.75 to $66.30 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, after sliding $4.40 to $1,273.20 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $0.40 to $1,272.80 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.81 yen compared to the 111.86 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1206 compared to yesterday's $1.1227.

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