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US Stocks May Move Back Upside in Early Trading

By Investors Hub

Major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Thursday, with the Dow futures up by 83 points. The upward momentum on Wall Street comes following the weakness seen over the two previous sessions.

After moving to the downside early in the session, stocks climbed off their worst levels of the day on Wednesday but remained mostly in negative territory.

The Dow ended the day down by 138.19 points or 0.6 percent at 23,271.28. the Nasdaq dropped 31.66 points to 6,706.21 and the S&P 500 fell 14.25 points or 0.6 percent to 2,563.62.

The weakness on Wall Street came on the heels of the decline seen by stocks overseas amid concerns about the global economy.

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Uncertainty about Republican lawmakers’ ability to come together and pass tax reform legislation also weighed on the markets.

Traders were also digesting the latest batch of U.S. economic news, including a report from the Commerce Department showing a modest increase in retail sales in the month of October.

Economists had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 1.6 percent jump originally reported the previous month.

Excluding an increase in auto sales, retail sales still inched up by 0.1 percent in October following a 1.2 percent surge in September. Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

With an increase in shelter costs offsetting a pullback in energy prices, the Labor Department released a report showing an uptick in U.S. consumer prices in the month of October.

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The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in October after climbing by 0.5 percent in September. The modest increase in consumer prices matched economist estimates.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in October after edging up by 0.1 percent in the previous month. The increase in core consumer prices also met expectations.

Growth in New York manufacturing activity slowed by more than anticipated in the month of November, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index dropped to 19.4 in November from 30.2 in October, although a positive reading still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to fall to 26.0.

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After leading the markets lower in the previous session, energy stocks once again showed notable moves to the downside.

The weakness among energy stocks came amid a continued decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for December delivery falling $0.37 to $55.33 a barrel.

Oil service stocks showed a substantial move to the downside, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 1.8 percent.

Commercial real estate, retail and software stocks also saw notable weakness on the day, while airline stocks showed a strong move to the upside.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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