(RTTNews) - With traders digesting a mixed batch of U.S. economic news, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Wednesday. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders continue to express uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the release of several key U.S. economic reports.
While the New York Federal Reserve released a report showing an unexpected contraction in regional manufacturing activity, separate reports showed a bigger than expected increase in industrial production and an unexpected improvement in homebuilder confidence.
The Labor Department also released a report showing that consumer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged for the second consecutive month in July.
Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves, contributing to another lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Nonetheless, networking stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Networking Index up by 1.1 percent. The index is regaining some ground after tumbling by 2.3 percent in the previous session.
Health insurance, biotechnology, and semiconductor stocks are also seeing moderate strength, while steel stocks have come under pressure on the day. The NYSE Arca Steel Index is down by 1.6 percent amid notable losses by U.S. Steel (X) and AK Steel (AKS).
Currently, the major averages are all in positive territory, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a notable gain. While the Nasdaq is up 11.64 points or 0.4 percent at 3,028.62, the Dow is up 2.01 points or less than 0.1 percent at 13,184.15 and the S&P 500 is up 1.49 points or 0.1 percent at 1,405.42.
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