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Major Averages Continue To Turn In Mixed Performance In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet july16 31jul20 lt

Stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Friday after failing to sustain an initial move to the upside. The Dow and the S&P 500 have slid firmly into negative territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is bucking the downtrend.

Currently, the major averages continue to turn in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 29.37 points or 0.3 percent at 10,617.18, the Dow is down 186.51 points or 0.7 percent at 26,127.14 and the S&P 500 is down 11.52 points or 0.4 percent at 3,234.70.

While upbeat tech earnings contributed to initial strength on Wall Street, the early buying interest was offset by concerns about stalled negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package.

With the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning for the weekend on Thursday, a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit is set to expire at the end of the day.

Democrats rejected a temporary extension of the jobless benefit, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claiming a one-week extension "can't be implemented in time."

Lawmakers appear at an impasse as the attempt to reach a compromise between a $1 trillion GOP relief proposal and the $3.4 trillion bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House in May.

A sharp drop by Chevron (CVX) is also weighing on the Dow, with the energy giant plunging by ___ percent after reporting a wider than expected second quarter loss.

Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) have also moved significantly lower even though the heavy equipment maker reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, the modest gain being posted by the Nasdaq reflects a largely positive reaction to better than expected quarterly results from leading technology companies.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) have moved sharply higher after the tech giant reported better than expected fiscal third quarter results and announced a 4-for-1 stock split.

Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) are also posting substantial gains after reporting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) has come under pressure despite reporting better than expected second quarter results. The company did report its first-ever quarterly drop in revenue.

Sector News

Oil service stocks are seeing substantial weakness in mid-day trading, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index plunging by 3.6 percent.

The sell-off by oil service stocks comes amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for September delivery is edging down $0.06 to $39.86 a barrel.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in a month.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) is posting a steep loss after reporting second quarter results that missed analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Airline, tobacco and steel stocks are also seeing significant weakness, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 3 percent.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery soaring $22.30 to $1,989.10 an ounce.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday, although China's Shanghai Composite Index bucked the downtrend and advanced by 0.7 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index plunged by 2.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the morning. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point to 0.549 percent.

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