U.S. Stocks Turning In Lackluster Performance In Morning Trading

(RTTNews) - Following the volatility seen over the past few sessions, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in morning trading on Thursday. The major averages moved to the downside early in the session but have regained ground since then.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 27.07 points or 0.2 percent at 13,977.29, the Dow is down 115.41 points or 0.3 percent at 34,021.90 and the S&P 500 is down 3.28 points or 0.1 percent at 4,170.14.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets.

The steady advance by the markets throughout most of the past year has led to some concerns about stock valuations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Stocks have largely refrained from an extended pullback, however, as traders seem wary of selling stocks and missing out on further upside.

Some analysts have warned that a market correction is overdue and suggested a continued advance could exacerbate the pullback.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report unexpectedly showing a continued decline in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 17.

The report said initial jobless claims fell to 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week's revised level of 586,000.

The continued drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to rebound to 617,000 from the 576,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims slid to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing another steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in the month of March.

NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 3.7 percent to an annual rate of 6.01 million in March after plunging by 6.3 percent to a revised rate of 6.24 million in February.

Economists had expected existing home sales to dip by 0.5 percent to a rate of 6.19 million from the 6.22 million originally reported for the previous month.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although considerable weakness is visible among energy stocks.

The weakness in the energy sector comes as the price of crude oil for June delivery is slipping $0.43 to $60.92 a barrel after tumbling $1.32 to $61.35 a barrel on Wednesday.

Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 1.4 percent and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 1.3 percent.

Steel, gold, and banking stocks are also seeing notable weakness on the day, while some strength is visible among airline stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.8 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved modestly higher after ending the previous session nearly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.2 basis points at 1.552 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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