Stocks Nearly Flat After Seeing Initial Strength

After seeing initial strength, stocks have pulled back near the unchanged line over the course of morning trading on Thursday. The lackluster performance comes on the heels of the strong upward move seen in the previous session.

Currently, the major averages are posting slight losses. The Dow is down 3.92 points or less than 0.1 percent at 21,528.22, the Nasdaq is down 5.64 points or 0.1 percent at 6,255.53 and the S&P 500 is down 0.14 points or less than 0.1 percent at 2,443.11.

Traders may be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of key economic data on Friday, including reports on retail sales, consumer prices and industrial production.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s second day of testimony on Capitol Hill is also attracting attention, with the central bank chief speaking before the Senate Banking Committee.

With Yellen’s prepared remarks mirroring those she delivered to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, traders are keeping an eye on her answers to Senators’ questions.

Before the start of trading, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest uptick in U.S. producer prices in the month of June.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in June after coming in flat in May. Economists had expected prices to remain unchanged.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices also crept up by 0.1 percent in June after climbing by 0.3 percent in May. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed a slight decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended July 8th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 247,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 250,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 245,000 from the 248,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day,…

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