Tomahawk, WI 10/7/2011 (PennyPayDay) – After moving sharply higher in recent session, stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Friday. The major averages have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line, unable to sustain any significant moves.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes despite the release of a report from the Labor Department showing stronger than expected employment growth in the month of September as well as upward revisions to the data from previous months.
While the data eased some of the recent concerns about the possibility of a double-dip recession, the unemployment rate remained at an elevated level of 9.1 percent, leading to some reluctance to continue buying stocks following the recent rally.
Despite the choppy trading, significant weakness has emerged among biotechnology stocks, with Illumina (ILMN) leading the sector lower after warning of weaker than expected third quarter revenues.
Banking stocks have also shown a notable move to the downside on the day after helping to lead the markets higher on Thursday. The KBW Bank Index is down by 1.9 percent after closing higher in the three previous sessions.
Health insurance and gold stocks are also seeing notable weakness in late morning trading, while strength is visible among utilities, retail, and pharmaceutical stocks.
The major averages have moved to the downside in recent trading, although the Dow remains in positive territory. While the Dow is up 26.60 points or 0.2 percent at 11,149.93, the Nasdaq is down 17.77 points or 0.7 percent at 2,489.05 and the S&P 500 is down 1.45 points or 0.1 percent at 1,163.52.