By RTT News,
January 17, 2014, 10:17:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - With traders digesting a mixed batch of earnings and economic news, stocks are turning in another lackluster performance in early trading on Friday. The major averages have once again turned mixed after ending the previous session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.
While the Dow is currently posting a modest gain, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are in the red. The Dow is up 8.58 points or 0.1 percent at 16,425.59, while the Nasdaq is down 13.23 points or 0.3 percent at 4,205.46 and the S&P 500 is down 4.37 points or 0.2 percent at 1,841.52.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes on the heels of the release of mixed quarterly results from big name companies such as Intel ( INTC ), American Express ( AXP ), General Electric ( GE ), and Morgan Stanley ( MS ).
After the close of trading on Thursday, Intel reported fourth quarter earnings that rose year-over-year but came in just below analyst estimates. The semiconductor giant also provided disappointing revenue guidance.
Credit card giant American Express also released its fourth quarter results after the close of yesterday's trading, reporting net income that more than doubled compared to the year-ago quarter.
General Electric reported fourth quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates, while Morgan Stanley's results came in above expectations.
Intel and GE have come under pressure following the release of their results, while AmEx and Morgan Stanley are moving to the upside.
Traders are also reacting to reports showing a pullback in housing starts and an increase in industrial production that came in line with economist estimate.
The Commerce Department said housing starts fell 9.8 percent to an annual rate of 999,000 in December after jumping 23.1 percent to the revised November estimate of 1.107 million.
Economists had expected housing starts to drop to an annual rate of 985,000 from the 1.091 million originally reported for the previous month, reflecting a 9.7 percent decrease.
Additionally, the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased by 0.3 percent in December after jumping by a revised 1.0 percent in November.
The December increase matched economist estimates, while the previous month's growth was downwardly revised from 1.1 percent.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although considerable strength has emerged among gold stocks. The NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has surged up by 2.2 percent, with an increase by the price of gold generating some buying interest.
On the other hand, trucking stocks have come under pressure in early trading, dragging the Dow Jones Trucking Index down by 1.3 percent. Con-way ( CNW ) is posting a notable loss after providing disappointing fourth quarter earnings guidance.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved modestly higher on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just above the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction after ending the previous session notably higher. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.841 percent.
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