Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Morning Trading – U.S. Commentary

Following the rally seen in the previous session, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Friday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Dow is up 67.03 points or 0.3 percent at 24,991.92, the Nasdaq is up 14.17 points or 0.2 percent at 7,838.08 and the S&P 500 is up 2.60 points or 0.1 percent at 2,800.89.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves on the heels of the considerable volatility seen over the past few sessions.

Traders are also digesting mixed quarterly results from financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

JPMorgan Chase is nearly flat despite reporting second quarter results that exceeded expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

Shares of Wells Fargo are showing a more significant move to the downside after the bank reported second quarter earnings and revenues that came in below analyst estimates.

Citigroup has also come under pressure after reporting better than expected second quarter earnings but on revenues that came in below expectations.

On the U.S. economic front, the University of Michigan released a report showing an unexpected decrease in consumer sentiment in the month of July due to concerns about potential impact of tariffs.

The preliminary report said the consumer sentiment index dipped to 97.1 in July from the final June reading of 98.2. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed an unexpected decrease in import prices in the month of June but a slightly bigger than expected increase in export prices.

The Labor Department said import prices fell by 0.4 percent in June after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.9 percent in May.

The pullback surprised economists, who had expected import prices to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report also said export prices rose by 0.3 percent in June following a 0.6 percent increase in May. Economists had expected export prices to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Reflecting the lackluster performance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although the notable decreases by Wells Fargo and Citigroup are weighing on the banking sector.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 1.9 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent, and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved higher over the course of the morning. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2 basis points at 2.833 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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