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U.S. Stocks Continue To Experience Choppy Trading

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After showing a lack of direction early in the session on Friday, stocks continue to experience choppy trading. The major averages moved to the upside in late morning trading but have pulled back near the unchanged line since then.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 10.64 points or 0.1 percent at 8,040.70, the Dow is up 68.25 points or 0.3 percent at 26,821.42 and the S&P 500 is up 0.81 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,954.99.

The lackluster performance on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after the S&P 500 ended the previous session at a record closing high.

Traders may be looking ahead to next week's G20 summit in Japan, where Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet in an effort to revive trade talks.

The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting could have a significant impact on the perception of the likelihood for an eventual U.S.-China trade deal.

Traders also seem cautious amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran after Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on Thursday.

President Donald Trump has revealed he was just ten minutes away from launching a retaliatory attack on Iran before calling off the strikes.

"We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General," Trump said in post on Twitter.

"10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone," he added. "I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world."

The Trump administration has claimed the drone was over international waters when it was shot down, although Iran's Revolutionary Guard has argued the drone was flying over Iranian territory.

Sector News

Reflecting the lackluster performance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves in mid-day trading.

Tobacco stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index plunging by 1.8 percent to a four-month intraday low.

Commercial real estate and telecom stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while some strength is visible among banking stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets saw modest weakness on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving significantly higher over the past few sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 6 basis points at 2.061 percent.

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