U.S. Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Morning Trading

(RTTNews) - Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Friday following the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages have spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the S&P 500 is up 5.61 points or 0.2 percent at 3,459.10, the Dow is down 18.09 points or 0.1 percent at 28,345.57 and the Nasdaq is down 33.53 points or 0.3 percent at 11,472.48.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves as they wait for further developments regarding a new stimulus bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently suggested negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making progress, although it seems unlikely a bill will be passed before the elections early next month.

During the final presidential debate Thursday night, President Donald Trump accused Pelosi of stalling a new relief package until after the elections for political purposes.

Trump also claimed that he could get reluctant Senate Republicans to support a broader stimulus bill if an agreement is finally reached.

Traders have generally remained optimistic that a bill will eventually be passed, but today seem to be waiting for more concrete news.

A steep drop by shares of Intel (INTC) is also weighing on the markets, with the semiconductor giant plunging by 10.7 percent.

Intel has come under pressure after reporting third quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues for its Data Center Group.

Credit card giant American Express (AXP) has also shown a notable move to the downside after reporting third quarter earnings that missed expectations.

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

Steel stocks have shown a notable move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index climbing by 1.2 percent. With the upward move, the index has reached its best intraday level in eight months.

Notable strength is also visible among oil stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Oil Index. The strength in the sector comes despite a modest drop by the price of crude oil.

Meanwhile, computer hardware stocks have come under pressure in morning trading, dragging the NYSE Arca Computer hardware Index down by 1.2 percent.

Shares of Seagate Technology (STX) are seeing considerable weakness after the data storage company reported fiscal first quarter earnings that beat estimates but on weaker than expected revenues.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has surged up by 1.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is unchanged at 0.848 percent.

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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