(RTTNews.com) - Extending the lackluster performance seen in the previous session, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Friday. While the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have lingered in negative territory, the Dow has been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. The Dow is up 40.33 points or 0.2 percent at 24,754.31, but the Nasdaq is down 3.86 points or 0.1 percent at 7,378.61 and the S&P 500 is down 1.31 points or 0.1 percent at 2,718.82.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make more significant moves amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front.
Uncertainty about the outcome of the second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China is also keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Various news outlets said China had offered to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. by $200 billion, although Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang quickly denied the reports.
"This rumor is not true. This, I can confirm," Lu told reporters. "I do not know about the offers made by either party."
He added, "As we know the consultations are still underway. I am not getting ahead of that. The consultations themselves are constructive."
On Thursday, President Donald Trump expressed some doubt about whether the high-level trade talks with China will be successful.
Trump told reporters he tends to doubt the talks will be successful in remarks during an Oval Office meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"The reason I doubt it is because China has become very spoiled," Trump said. "The European Union has become very spoiled. Other countries have become very spoiled, because they always got 100 percent of whatever they wanted from the United States."
However, Trump also claimed he would not allow the U.S. to be taken advantage of anymore and sounded more optimistic in later remarks.
"I can only tell you this; we're going to come out fine with China," Trump said. "Hopefully, China's going to be happy. I think we will be happy."
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Steel stocks continue to see considerable weakness, however, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index falling by 1.2 percent. The index is pulling back further off the nearly three-month closing high set on Wednesday.
Banking, semiconductor, and natural gas stocks are also seeing some weakness on the day, while strength has emerged among housing and telecom stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets saw modest weakness on the day. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after trending lower in recent sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.9 basis points at 3.080 percent.
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