Stocks Fluctuating Amid Light Post-Holiday Trading - U.S. Commentary

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( - After initially moving to the upside, stocks have fluctuated over the course of morning trading on Wednesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 have bounced back and forth across the unchanged line, while the Nasdaq has remained in positive territory.

Currently, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is outperforming its counterparts. While the Nasdaq is up 66.77 points or 1.1 percent at 6,259.69, the Dow is up 47.00 points or 0.2 percent at 21,839.20 and the S&P 500 is up 13.53 points or 0.6 percent at 2,364.63.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as many traders remain away from their desks after the Christmas Day holiday on Tuesday.

A lack of major U.S. economic data is also keeping traders on the sidelines, although reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, and pending home sales may attract attention in the coming days.

Early buying interest was seen as some traders went bargain hunting, picking up stocks at reduced levels on the heels of recent weakness.

The continued sell-off seen in a holiday-shortened session on Monday dragged the major averages down to their lowest closing levels in well over a year.

Nonetheless, the ongoing government shutdown may limit any recovery attempt by the markets, with lawmakers not expected to reconvene until Thursday.

President Donald Trump has stated the government will not reopen until Democrats agree to fund his controversial border wall.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Retail stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the Dow Jones Retail Index jumping by 1.8 percent after ending the previous session at its lowest closing level in a year.

The rebound by retail stocks comes after data released by Mastercard ( MA ) showed U.S. holiday retail sales recorded the strongest growth in six years.

Software and biotechnology stocks are also seeing considerable strength, contributing to the notable advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Wednesday, although Japan'sNikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and advanced by 0.8 percent. Many markets in region were closed on the day.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also remain closed on the day as a result of the Boxing Day holiday.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the morning. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.745 percent.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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