(RTTNews) - Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Thursday, extending the lackluster performance seen over the past several sessions. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are posting modest losses. The Dow is down 20.45 points or 0.1 percent at 27,763.14, the Nasdaq is down 14.93 points or 0.2 percent at 8,467.17 and the S&P 500 is down 0.38 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 3,093.66.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some concerns as U.S.-China trade talks drag on but remain wary of missing out on any further upside.
The markets have recently shown intense reactions to reports about the trade talks, and an upbeat report could send stocks surging to record highs once again.
With earnings season largely in the rearview mirror and the Federal Reserve signaling interest rates will remain on hold for the foreseeable future, traders are looking the next catalyst for the markets.
The long-awaited completion of a phase one U.S.-China trade deal could help drive the markets, although the talks could also still fall apart.
Traders may also start paying closer attention to the latest economic data, with reports on U.S. retail sales and industrial production likely to attract attention on Friday.
The Labor Department released a report this morning showing U.S. producer prices rebounded by slightly more than anticipated in the month of October.
The report said the producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.4 percent in October after falling by 0.3 percent in September. Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.3 percent.
Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in October following a 0.3 percent drop in September. Core prices had been expected to edge up by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, a separate Labor Department report showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by much more than expected in the week ended November 9th.
The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 225,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 211,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Notable weakness is visible among networking stocks, however, with the NYSE Arca Networking Index sliding by 1.2 percent.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) is posting a steep loss after the networking company reported better than expected fiscal first quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.
Biotechnology stocks have also shown a notable move to the downside, while some strength has emerged among computer hardware and oil service stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.8 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are extending the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.9 basis points at 1.831 percent.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.