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(RTTNews) – While the Dow and the S&P 500 have moved moderately lower during trading on Thursday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has shown a lack of direction over the course of the session.

The Nasdaq has been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line and is currently up just 0.62 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 11,787.05.

Meanwhile, the Dow is down 144.34 points or 0.5 percent at 29,253.29 and the S&P 500 is down 14.94 points or 0.4 percent at 3,557.72.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders express some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after the major averages spiked to new record intraday highs on Monday.

The major averages have turned in a mixed performance in the sessions since then, as traders cycle in and out of technology and cyclical stocks.

Upbeat news on the coronavirus vaccine front contributed to the rally on Monday, although the positive sentiment has been partly offset by a continued surge in cases across the U.S. and Europe.

Indications that the distribution of a potential vaccine is likely to face significant logistical challenges may also be keeping traders from making significant bets.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing a bigger than expected decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended November 7th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 757,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 735,000 from the 751,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since before lockdowns were imposed in mid-March.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed consumer prices came in flat in the month of October.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index was unchanged in October after rising by 0.2 percent in September. Economists had expected another 0.2 percent uptick.

Excluding food and energy prices, consumer prices were still flat in October after edging up by 0.2 percent in September. Core prices were also expected to inch up by another 0.2 percent.

Sector News

Banking stocks have shown a significant move to the downside on the day, dragging the KBW Bank Index down by 1.8 percent. The index continues to give back ground after reaching a five-month closing high on Tuesday.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among brokerage stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent decline by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index. With the drop, the index is pulling back off yesterday’s record closing high.

Tobacco, computer hardware and chemical stocks are also seeing notable weakness in mid-day trading, while strength remains visible among gold stocks.

After falling sharply in recent session, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index is jumping by 1.5 percent. The strength in the sector comes as gold for December delivery is climbing $16.30 to $1,877.90 an ounce.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Thursday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and rose by 0.7 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged down by 0.1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.7 percent, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after trending lower over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 7.2 basis points at 0.900 percent.