Major Averages Hovering In Positive Territory In Afternoon Trading

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, regaining ground following the sharp pullback seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved back to the upside on the day, although buying interest has remained somewhat subdued.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, hovering in positive territory. The Dow is up 78.09 points or 0.3 percent at 31,183.06, the Nasdaq is up 87.73 points or 0.8 percent at 11,721.30 and the S&P 500 is up 16.90 points or 0.4 percent at 3,949.59.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the sell-off seen in the previous session, which nearly wiped out the recent recovery rally.

Traders may once again be looking to pick up stocks at reduced levels, although concerns about the outlook for interest rates continue to weigh on the markets after yesterday’s hotter-than-expected consumer price inflation report.

Partly offsetting the inflation worries, the Labor Department released a separate report this morning showing a modest decrease in U.S. producer prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in August after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in July.

Economists had expected producer prices to dip by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.5 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed the annual rate of growth in producer prices slowed to 8.7 percent in August from 9.8 percent in July, roughly in line with estimates.

Nonetheless, traders may be reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the release of a slew of U.S. economic data on Thursday, including reports on weekly jobless claims, retail sales and industrial production.

Sector News

Natural gas stocks continue to see substantial strength in afternoon trading, resulting in a 3.6 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index.

The rally by natural gas stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the commodity, with natural gas for October delivery surging $0.529 or 6.4 percent to $8.813 per million BTUs.

A notable increase by the price of crude oil is also contributing to significant strength among oil service and oil producer stocks.

With crude for October delivery jumping $2.11 to $89.42 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 3.5 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 2.7 percent.

Semiconductor, gold and utilities stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while steel stock have moved sharply lower, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 4.0 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 2.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.8 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dove by 1.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the session after seeing initial weakness. 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 3.416 percent.

Source: Read Full Article