U.S. Stocks Continue To Experience Choppy Trading

U.S. Stocks Continue To Experience Choppy Trading

December 4, 2023

Stocks showed a lack of direction early in the session on Monday and continue to turn in a lackluster performance in afternoon trading. The major averages have spent most of the day lingering near the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is up 27.82 points or 0.2 percent at 14,278.68, the S&P 500 is down 2.49 points or 0.1 percent at 4,556.85 and the Dow is down 52.45 points or 0.2 percent at 35,337.70.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of some key economic data in the coming days.

The Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending may be in the spotlight, as it includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve.

Economists currently expect the report to show the annual rate of consumer price growth slowed to 3.1 percent in October from 3.4 percent in September. Core price growth is expected to slow to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent.

Traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims, pending home sales and manufacturing activity.

The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts, may also attract attention along with remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Traders will be looking for additional clues about the outlook for interest rates, with optimism the Fed is done raising rates contributing to recent strength on Wall Street.

The Commerce Department released a report this morning showing new home sales in U.S. pulled back sharply in the month of October after soaring in September.

The report said new home sales plunged by 5.6 percent to an annual rate of 679,000 in October after spiking by 8.6 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 719,000 in September.

Economists had expected new home sales to tumble by 4.5 percent to a rate of 725,000 from the 759,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although airline stocks are seeing considerable weakness, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 1.4 percent.

Notable weakness has also emerged among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Oil service, natural gas and pharmaceutical stocks have also moved to the downside, while gold stocks have surged amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

With gold for December delivery climbing $9.40 to $2,012.40 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has jumped by 1.9 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index all fell by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed firmly into positive territory over the course of the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 6.6 basis points at 4.406 percent.

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