U.S. Stocks Regain Ground After Seeing Early Weakness

After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks have regained ground over the course of the trading day on Friday. The major averages have climbed well off their worst levels, with the Dow reaching positive territory.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Dow is up 22.74 points or 0.1 percent at 35,753.22, the Nasdaq is down 32.66 points or 0.2 percent at 15,415.46 and the S&P 500 is down 4.61 points or 0.1 percent at 4,591.81.

A negative reaction to quarterly results from tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) contributed to the early weakness on Wall Street.

Shares of Apple have climbed off their worst levels but remain notably lower after the iPhone maker reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates but weaker than expected sales amid supply chain issues.

Online retail giant Amazon is also seeing continued weakness after reporting much weaker than expected third quarter results.

Selling pressure has waned over the course of the session, however, as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week.

Following the two-day meeting, many economists expect the Fed to announce plans to begin scaling back its asset purchase program.

On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed personal income decreased by much more than expected in the month of September.

The Commerce Department said personal income slumped by 1.0 percent in September after inching up by 0.2 percent in August. Economists had expected personal income to edge down by 0.2 percent.

The bigger than expected drop in personal income primarily reflected a decrease in government social benefits, both in unemployment benefits and “other” benefits.

Meanwhile, the report showed personal spending climbed by 0.6 percent in September after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in August.

Economists had expected personal spending to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.8 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of October.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was upwardly revised to 71.7 from the preliminary reading of 71.4.

While the upward revision surprised economists, who expected the index to be unrevised, the final reading was still below September’s 72.8.

Sector News

Gold stocks continue to see substantial weakness in mid-day trading, resulting in a 1.9 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

The sell-off by gold stocks comes amid a steep drop by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery tumbling $23.90 to $1,778.70 an ounce.

Significant weakness also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent slump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The weakness in the sector comes amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil.

Natural gas and computer hardware stocks are also seeing notable weakness on the day, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.7 percent.

The major European markets also turned mixed over the course of the session. While the French CAC 40 Index climbed 0.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed back near the unchanged line after seeing early weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is unchanged at 1.568 percent.

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