By RTT News, September 27, 2013, 12:02:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - After showing a notable move to the downside at the open, stocks remains mostly negative in mid-day trading on Friday. Selling pressure has waned from earlier in the session but buying interest also remains largely subdued.
The major averages have climbed well off their worst levels of the day but currently remain stuck in the red. The Dow is down 69.87 points or 0.5 percent at 15,258.43, the Nasdaq is down 3.09 points or 0.1 percent at 3,784.33 and the S&P 500 is down 6.84 points or 0.4 percent at 1,691.83.
Worries about a possible government shutdown are weighing on the markets, as lawmakers continue to wrangle over legislation to keep the government running past next Monday.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on a temporary spending bill, stripping out language from a House-passed bill that defunds Obamacare.
The legislation is expected to pass the Senate, and then the House Republican leadership will have to decide whether to bring the Senate bill up for a vote or risk a government shutdown.
Even if lawmakers manage to avoid the government shutdown, signs are pointing to another drawn out dispute over raising the debt limit.
On the economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that U.S. personal income and spending both rose in line with estimates in August.
The report said personal income rose by 0.4 percent in August following an upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in July. The acceleration in the pace of growth matched expectations.
Additionally, the Commerce Department said personal spending increased by 0.3 percent in August after rising by an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in the previous month. The spending growth also came in line with estimates.
A separate report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed an upward revision to their reading on U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of September, although the index still pointed to a deterioration in sentiment compared the previous month.
Steel stocks are seeing considerable weakness in mid-day trading, resulting in a 2 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. With the drop, the index is pulling back further off the seven-month closing high it set last week.
Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF ) and U.S. Steel (X) are turning in two of the steel sector's worst performances, falling by 4.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Significant weakness has also emerged among telecom stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Telecom Index. Verizon ( VZ ) and Fairpoint Communications ( FRP ) are posting notable losses.
Airline, railroad, and commercial real estate stocks have also come under pressure on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves to the downside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Australia's All Ordinaries Index rose by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index ended the day down by 0.8 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both closed roughly flat.
In the bond market, treasuries have resumed their recent upward trend following yesterday's pullback. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.1 basis points at 2.612 percent.
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