Major Averages Turning In Mixed Performance In Mid-Day Trading

After an early move to the upside, the Dow and the S&P 500 remain firmly positive in mid-day trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has turned lower over the course of the session after reaching a new record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 50.31 points or 0.4 percent at 11,889.36, the Dow is up 210.47 points or 0.7 percent at 28,856.13 and the S&P 500 is up 21.98 points or 0.6 percent at 3,548.63.

The gains by the Dow and the S&P 500 partly reflect recent upward momentum on Wall Street, which has propelled stocks higher over the past several weeks.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 have once again set new record intraday highs, while the Dow has reached its best levels in six months and is closing in on the record high set in February.

Traders continue to express optimism about the economy recovering from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, although some analysts have suggested the markets may be getting ahead of themselves.

Meanwhile, a notable drop by shares of Apple (AAPL) is weighing on the Nasdaq, with the tech giant slumping by 4 percent after reaching a new record intraday high in early trading.

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) have also come under pressure following news the electric car maker’s largest outside shareholder Baillie Gifford & Co. has reduced its stake in the company.

On the U.S. economic front, payroll processor ADP released a report showing much weaker than expected private sector job growth in the month of August.

ADP said private sector employment increased by 428,000 jobs in August after rising by an upwardly revised 212,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 950,000 jobs compared to the addition of 167,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

“The August job postings demonstrate a slow recovery,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

She added, “Job gains are minimal, and businesses across all sizes and sectors have yet to come close to their pre-COVID-19 employment levels.”

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.

Economists currently expect employment to jump by 1.400 million jobs in August after surging up by 1.763 million jobs in July. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 9.8 percent from 10.2 percent.

Sector News

Utilities stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session, driving the Dow Jones Utility Average up by 2.8 percent. The average is bouncing off its lowest closing level in almost two months.

Considerable strength has also emerged among telecom stocks, resulting in a 1.5 percent advance by the NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index.

Semiconductor stocks also continue to turn in a strong performance, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain being posted by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. Earlier in the session, the index reached a record intraday high.

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) is posting a notable gain after Bank of America Securities raised its price target on the company’s stock to a Street-high $650 per share

Chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks have also moved to the upside on the day, while oil service stocks have moved lower along with the price of crude oil.

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 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved sharply higher on the day. While the German DAX Index spiked by 2.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing further upside after turning higher over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2.4 basis points at 0.648 percent.

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