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Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction Amid Quiet Day - US Commentary
[June 20, 2014]

Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction Amid Quiet Day - US Commentary

(Alliance News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Stocks are showing a lack of direction in early trading on Friday, extending the lackluster performance seen in the previous session. The major averages are showing only modest moves, lingering near the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 3.67 points or 0.1% at 4,355.66, the Dow is up 28.32 points or 0.2% at 16,949.78 and the S&P 500 is up 1.94 points or 0.1% at 1,961.42.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes amid an absence of major US economic data, with traders waiting for the next catalyst to drive the markets.

Traders may be looking ahead to the release of a slew of economic data next week, including reports on new and existing home sales, durable goods orders, and personal income and spending.

The personal income and spending includes a reading on inflation that is favored by the Federal Reserve and is likely to be in focus in light of recent reports showing notable price growth.

Despite the recent indications of rising prices, the Fed said inflation has been running below the monetary policy committee's longer-run objective.

In her post-meeting press conference on Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged that recent inflation data has been on "the high side" but also described the data as "noisy." While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, significant strength has emerged among oil service stocks. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index has advanced by 1.2%, reaching its best intraday level in almost six years.

The strength among oil service stocks comes amid a notable increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for July delivery climbing USD0.67 to USD107.10 a barrel.

Pharmaceutical, healthcare, and banking stocks are also seeing some early strength, while weakness has emerged among software and housing stocks.

Among individual stocks, shares of Oracle (ORCL) are moving sharply lower in early trading after the business software giant reported weaker than expected fourth quarter results.

Restaurant operator Darden Restaurants (DRI) has also come under pressure after reporting fourth quarter earnings that came in below analyst estimates.

On the other hand, shares of Shire (SHPG) are seeing early strength after the British drugmaker rejected a USD46 billion takeover offer from AbbVie (ABBV), claiming it undervalued the company and its prospects.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in yet another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ticked up by 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are all seeing modest strength on the day. While the UK's FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.4%, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved moderately lower, extending the pullback seen over the course of the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.6 basis points at 2.648%.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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