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01/11/2017 12:11:41 PM
01/11/2017 12:11:41 PM UTC-0500

Stocks Seeing Volatility As Trump Holds Press Conference - U.S. Commentary


(RTTNews) - After moving moderately higher earlier in the session, stocks have seen considerable volatility in recent trading on Wednesday. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are all in positive territory. The Dow is up 84.03 points or 0.4 percent at 19,939.56, the Nasdaq is up 1.45 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 5,553.27 and the S&P 500 is up 3.42 points or 0.2 percent at 2,272.32.

The volatility recently seen on Wall Street came as President-elect Donald Trump began his first press conference in several months.

In his opening remarks, Trump called for new bidding procedures for the drug industry in order to lower prices.

"We're the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don't bid properly and we're going to start bidding and save billions of dollars over a period of time," Trump said.

The comments from Trump led to a sell-off by drug stocks, which initially contributed to a sharp pullback by the major averages.

During the press conference, Trump also indicated he would hand over control of his companies to his sons Eric and Donald Jr. but not divest from his wide business holdings.

The focus on the comments from Trump come amid another quiet day on the U.S. economic front, with traders looking ahead to closely watched reports on producer prices and retail sales on Friday.

Financial giants Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC) are also scheduled to release their quarterly results later this week.

Sector News

Biotechnology stocks showed a substantial move to the downside following the comments from Trump, dragging the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index down by 2.8 percent. The index is pulling back off its best closing level in well over a month.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among pharmaceutical stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index.

Gold stocks are also seeing notable weakness in mid-day trading, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 2 percent. The weakness in the sector comes amid a modest decrease by the price of gold.

On the other hand, oil service stocks are seeing notable strength, regaining some ground after falling sharply over the two previous sessions. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.7 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just above the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries continue to show a lack of direction after ending the previous session nearly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.370 percent.

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