By RTT News,
December 11, 2013, 08:58:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Following the relatively lackluster performance seen over the past two sessions, stocks may continue to experience choppy trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 10 points.
Another quiet day on the U.S. economic front is likely to keep traders on the sidelines amid continued uncertainty about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.
With the Fed's next policy announcement just a week away, traders are likely to be looking ahead to Thursday's reports on weekly jobless claims, retail sales, and business inventories.
Nonetheless, trading could be impacted by reaction to the budget agreement announced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., after the close of trading on Tuesday.
The budget agreement, which came after intensive negotiations and concessions from both sides, would fund the government for the next two fiscal years.
The proposal calls for $63 billion in sequester relief but would reduce the deficit by $23 billion through $85 billion in reforms and non-tax revenue.
Members of both houses of Congress are expected to vote on the bipartisan budget agreement before heading home for the holidays.
Among individual stocks, shares of Costco (COST) may come under pressure in early trading after the warehouse retailer reported weaker than expected first quarter results due in part to negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange.
Tax preparer H&R Block ( HRB ) could also see early weakness after reporting a second quarter loss that came in slightly wider than anticipated.
On the other hand, shares of MasterCard ( MA ) are moving notably higher in pre-market trading after the credit card giant announced a 10-for-1 stock split, an 83 percent increase to its quarterly dividend and a new $3.5 billion stock buyback program.
Stocks saw modest weakness throughout much of the trading day on Tuesday, offsetting the modest strength seen on Monday. Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets.
The major averages pulled back going into the close, ending the day moderately lower. The Dow dipped 52.40 points or 0.3 percent to 15,973.13, the Nasdaq edged down 8.26 points or 0.2 percent to 4,060.49 and the S&P 500 slipped 5.75 points or 0.3 percent to 1,802.62.
For comments and feedback: contact email@example.com