(RTTNews.com) - Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Wednesday following the strong upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the Dow is down 11.71 points or 0.1 percent at 24,774.92, the Nasdaq is up 10.31 points or 0.1 percent at 7,291.41 and the S&P 500 is up 6.13 points or 0.2 percent at 2,712.52.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to continue buying stocks amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets.
Traders may be looking ahead to the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which could impact trading this afternoon.
The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts, may shed some additional light on the outlook for interest rates.
The lackluster performance on the day also comes amid a mixed reaction to quarterly results from several big-name companies.
While Morgan Stanley (MS), United Continental (UAL) and CSX Corp. ( CSX ) have moved higher after reporting better than expected earnings, IBM Corp. (IBM) has come under pressure after providing disappointing full-year earnings guidance.
Despite the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets, steel stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside in morning trading.
Reflecting the strength in the steel sector, the NYSE Arca Steel Index has surged up by 3.5 percent to its best intraday level in a month.
Energy and gold stocks have also moved notably higher on the day, benefiting from increases in the price of crude oil and gold.
On the other hand, semiconductor stocks have moved to the downside, with Lam Research (LRCX) posting a steep loss despite reporting fiscal third quarter earnings that beat estimates and providing upbeat guidance.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back following the modest upward move seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.9 basis points at 2.843 percent.
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