Stocks Seeing Modest Weakness Amid Light Trading - U.S. Commentary
(RTTNews) - While selling pressure has remained relatively subdued, stocks have moved modestly lower in morning trading on Friday. The Dow has pulled back into negative territory after inching up to a new record high in the previous session.
Currently, the Dow is down 61.89 points or 0.3 percent at 20,557.88 and the S&P 500 is down 4.11 points or 0.2 percent at 2,343.11. However, the Nasdaq has crept up by 0.82 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 5,815.72.
Profit taking has contributed to the modest weakness on Wall Street, with traders cashing in on the recent strength in the markets.
Nonetheless, trading activity is somewhat subdued as traders look to get a head start on the long Presidents Day weekend.
On the U.S. economic front, the Conference Board released a report showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of January.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.6 percent in January after rising by 0.5 percent in December. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.4 percent. Gold stocks have shown a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 1.5 percent.
The weakness among gold stocks comes amid a modest decrease by the price of the precious metal, with gold for April delivery sliding $1.60 to $1,240 an ounce.
Tobacco and banking stocks are also seeing some weakness in morning trading, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
Among individual stocks, shares of Nu Skin (NUS) have come under pressure after the company reported weaker than expected fourth quarter results and offered disappointing guidance.
Hertz Global (HTZ) is also posting a notable loss after Credit Suisse downgraded its rating on the car rental company's stock to Underperform from Neutral.
On the other hand, shares of TrueCar (TRUE) are moving sharply higher after the car buying website operator reported a narrower than expected fourth quarter loss and provided upbeat guidance.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.9 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are extending the rebound seen over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.9 basis points at 2.411 percent.