Stocks moved higher at the start of trading on Friday but have given back ground over the course of the morning. The major averages have pulled back off their highs of the young session and into negative territory.
Currently, the major averages are posting modest losses. The Dow is down 135.41 points or 0.4 percent at 34,743.97, the Nasdaq is down 3.73 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 15,244.52 and the S&P 500 is down 8.62 points or 0.2 percent at 4,484.66.
The initial strength on Wall Street came as traders looked to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed lower for the fourth straight session on Thursday.
The Dow ended Thursday’s trading at its lowest closing level in a month, and the major averages are all currently lower for the week.
Buying interest remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders continued to express concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant.
Traders may also be wary of making significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting later this month.
The Fed may provide an update on the plans for its asset purchase program, although recent signs of slowing economic momentum may lead the central bank to push back tapering.
In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing producer prices increased by slightly more than expected in the month of August.
The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.7 percent in August after jumping by 1.0 percent for two straight months. Economists had expected producer prices to increase by 0.6 percent.
Excluding prices for food, energy and trade services, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in August following a 0.9 percent advance in July. Core prices were expected to rise by 0.4 percent.
Tobacco stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, dragging the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index down by 2.7 percent. The index continues to give back ground after reaching a nearly three-year closing high on Tuesday.
Considerable weakness has also emerged among airline stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. The pullback comes after the index soared by 2.6 percent on Thursday.
On the other hand, semiconductor stocks have pulled back off their best levels but continue to see notable strength on the day, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 1.2 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving notably higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.2 basis points at 1.331 percent.
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