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Wall Street struggles to find direction in choppy session

  • Energy sector underperforms following the EIA data.
  • US Pres. Trump threatens to close Mexico border.

Following a mixed start to the day, major equity indexes in the U.S. fluctuated between the positive and the negative territory amid varying performances of major sectors. As of writing, the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged on the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.14% and the Nasdaq Composite was adding 0.2%.

With the barrel of West Texas Intermediate struggling to make a meaningful recovery on Friday, the Energy Index is erasing 0.8% on the day to lead the losses. The trade-sensitive Materials Index is down 0.45% on ongoing concerns over the government shutdown and President Donald Trump's recent Twitter thread, in which he threatened to close the Mexico border unless Democrats funded his proposed border wall.

On the other hand, the Consumer Discretionary and the Financials indexes both gain more than 0.5% on the day to help Wall Street stage a sharp decline as we have seen earlier this week.

Commenting on the market action, "Since the beginning of October, investors are more defensive. Rather than buying the dip, they are selling the rally. They are looking to take gains when they can,” Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, told Reuters today.

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