After moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions, stocks have shown a lack of direction in morning trading on Wednesday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq is down 11.21 points or 0.1 percent at 15,675.70, the Dow is up 37.82 points or 0.1 percent at 35,757.25 and the S&P 500 is up 4.23 points or 0.1 percent at 4,690.98.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent volatility.
While stocks skyrocketed early this week, the rally came on the heels of the sharp pullback inspired by the detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus
With concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant easing, traders are now looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement next week.
Reports suggest the Fed could decide to double the pace of tapering its asset purchase program to $30 billion per month.
A relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front may also be keeping traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on weekly jobless claims, consumer prices and consumer sentiment in the coming days.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Airline stocks are moving sharply higher, however, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index skyrocketing by 4.4 percent.
Notable strength is also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index.
On the other hand, semiconductor stocks are giving back ground, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 1.1 percent. The index ended Tuesday’s trading at a record closing high.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are seeing further downside after moving notably lower over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.1 basis points at 1.511 percent.
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