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U.S. Stocks Turning In Mixed Performance In Morning Trading

wallstreet aug24 25mar20 lt

Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Wednesday, as traders take a breather following the massive rally seen in the previous session. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 17.78 points or 0.3 percent at 7,399.08, the Dow is up 336.60 points or 1.6 percent at 21,041.51 and the S&P 500 is up 9.56 points or 0.4 percent at 2,456.89.

The jump by the Dow, which is adding to its biggest percentage gain since 1933, is partly due to a substantial advance by shares of Boeing (BA).

Boeing is currently up by 15.7 percent after a report from Reuters said the aerospace giant plans to restart 737 MAX production by May, ending a months-long halt triggered by two fatal crashes.

Fellow Dow component Nike (NKE) is also sharply higher after the athletic footwear and apparel maker reported better than expected fiscal third quarter results and said sales in China have rebounded since the coronavirus outbreak in the country has eased.

The more modest moves by the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 comes as traders take a break following the volatility seen in recent sessions.

News that Senate leaders and the White House have reached an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus bill has generated some positive sentiment, although some traders may feel the news was priced into the markets yesterday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., announced the agreement very early this morning, saying he expects the legislation to pass later today.

McConnell described the bill as a "war-time level of investment" in the country, providing financial assistance to individuals and companies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican leader's Democratic counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also praised the bill, which he said would provide "unemployment compensation on steroids."

Schumer also claimed the final bill would provide increased oversight of a proposed $500 billion corporate bailout fund, which had been a key sticking point among Democrats.

The Senate could pass the bill as soon as today, although the stimulus package would still need to be approved by the Democrat-controlled House before heading to President Donald Trump's desk.

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

Oil service stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index slumping by 4.3 percent.

The weakness among oil service stocks comes amid a pullback by the price of crude oil, as crude for May delivery is sliding $0.78 to $23.23 a barrel.

Natural gas, banking and semiconductor stocks are also seeing considerable weakness in morning trading, while brokerage, commercial real estate and housing stocks have shown strong moves to the upside.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed after an early rally. While the German DAX Index has slumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.9 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly higher following the pullback in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.4 basis points at 0.792 percent.

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