Stocks Seeing Modest Weakness In Mid-Day Trading

After showing a lack of direction earlier in the session, stocks have moved modestly lower over the course of the trading day on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has pulled back into negative territory after hitting a record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are lingering below the unchanged line. The Dow is down 36.47 points or 0.2 percent at 20,944.86, the Nasdaq is down 5.32 points or 0.1 percent at 6,043.61 and the S&P 500 is down 4.69 points or 0.2 percent at 2,384.08.

The modest weakness on Wall Street comes after President Donald Trump warned of a major conflict with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

Trump said he wants to resolve the standoff with North Korea peacefully but argued a diplomatic solution is “very difficult.”

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing that economic growth slowed by more than anticipated in the first three months of 2017.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product increased by 0.7 percent in the first quarter after jumping by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected GDP to climb by 1.2 percent.

The weaker than expected increase in GDP in the first quarter represents the worst performance since a 1.2 percent decline in the first quarter of 2014.

Among individual stocks, shares of Intel (INTC) are moving notably lower after the semiconductor giant reported first quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues.

Chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) has also come under pressure after cutting its fiscal third quarter guidance due to Apple (AAPL) withholding future royalty payments amid a dispute between the companies.

Meanwhile, shares of Amazon (AMZN) seeing notable strength after the online retail giant reported first quarter results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) is also moving higher in morning trading after reporting better than expected first quarter earnings and revenues.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks are seeing notable weakness in mid-day trading, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index sliding by 1.6 percent. The index is pulling back after ending the previous session at a sixteen-year closing high.

Considerable weakness has also emerged among housing stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent drop by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The drop by the index comes after it ended Thursday’s trading at its best closing level in eleven years.

On the other hand, gold stocks continue to turn in a strong performance on the day, resulting in a 2.1 percent gain by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The index is rebounding after ending the previous session at its lowest closing level in over a month.

The rebound by gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June…

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