News Column

Stocks Continue To Show A Lack Of Direction In Mid-Day Trading - US Commentary

August 22, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - With traders seemingly reluctant to make any significant moves, stocks continue to show a lack of direction in mid-day trading on Friday. Nonetheless, the markets are largely holding on to the bulk of their recent gains.

The major averages currently continue to turn in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 8.36 points or 0.2% at 4,540.47, while the Dow is down 21.83 point or 0.1% at 17,017.66 and the S&P 500 is down 2.37 points or 0.1% at 1,990.00.

The lackluster performance on Wall Street comes on the heels of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech at the Kansas City Fed's economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Yellen's remarks did not provide any meaningful hints about the outlook for interest rates and largely focused on the difficulty in judging the remaining degree of slack in the labor market.

The Fed chief concluded her remarks by acknowledging that the central bank could go either way with regard to interest rates.

While Yellen said an increase in rates could come sooner than expected if progress on inflation and the labor market occur more rapidly than anticipated, she also said the future path of rates could be more accommodative if the economic performance turns out to be disappointing.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at the Lindsey Group, said, "Bottom line, the speech was an academic discussion that was a non-event in terms of gleaning any clues to when future policy moves, past the end of QE, will occur."

Meanwhile, traders are also keeping an eye on developments overseas amid news that Russia sent a humanitarian aid convoy into eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has claimed that the move violates an agreement between the two countries and described the convoy as an invasion.

Among individual stocks, shares of Aeropostale (ARO) have fallen sharply on the day after the teen apparel retailer forecast a wider than expected third quarter loss.

Tax preparation software developer Intuit (INTU) has also come under pressure after reporting a wider fourth quarter net loss and providing disappointing guidance.

On the other hand, shares of (CRM) have jumped higher after the provider of customer relationship management software reported better than expected second quarter results and raised its full-year guidance

Apparel retailer Gap (GPS) is also moving to the upside after reporting second quarter results that beat analyst estimates and raising its full-year earnings outlook.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves in mid-day trading, contributing to the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets.

While energy and steel stocks have moved to the downside on the day, moderate strength has emerged among electronic storage and software stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan'sNikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.3%, while Hong Kong'sHang Seng Index rose by 0.5%.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the UK'sFTSE 100 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index dropped by 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have seen considerable volatility on the heels of Yellen's remarks. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 2.412%.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Alliance News

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters