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Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary


After moving mostly higher over the course of the session, stocks have shown a lack of direction in morning trading on Wednesday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are just above the unchanged line, posting gains of less than a tenth of a percent. The Dow is up 2.81 points at 26,659.20, the Nasdaq is up 3.34 points at 8,124.16 and the S&P 500 is up 1.03 points at 2,934.71.

Traders seem 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) is also contributing to the choppy trading on Wall Street.

Shares of Boeing have moved to the upside 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 has moved lower in morning trading.

Shares of AT&T are also seeing significant 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 is also keeping 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.

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

Brokerage stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index falling by 1.3 percent after ending the previous session at a six-month closing high.

Computer hardware, steel, and oil service stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, while notable strength is visible among transportation and semiconductor stocks.

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 is up by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the upward move seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.3 basis points at 2.527 percent.

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