Stocks are going nowhere

Stocks are once again trading in a tight range on Wednesday morning, following a string a upbeat bank earnings and disappointing economic data.

Near 9:37 a.m. ET, the Dow was down 30 points, the S&P 500 was up 2 points, and the Nasdaq was up 11 points.

Stocks fell late in the session yesterday after trading in a narrow range, leaving the Nasdaq down 0.9% and the Dow off 50 points.

The economic data out today have missed estimates. “Core” retail sales excluding auto and gas were flat and lower than expected in September compared to the prior month. Lower gas prices were reflected in a 3.2% drop in gas station sales, the most for any kind of business. Overall retail sales rose 0.1%.

Economists noted that the strong dollar weighed down the prices of imported goods.

And, producer prices fell 0.5%, more than expected, pulled down by declines in energy and food costs.

The yield on the 10-year treasury note dipped below 2% this morning, a level it has crossed only a few times this year.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was lower but nearly flat on a percentage basis, around $US46.25 per barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute will release weekly data on inventories this evening, and the Energy Information Administration will drop its data tomorrow morning. They’re a day later than usual because of Columbus Day on Monday.

Elsewhere in commodities, gold was up nearly $US10 an ounce, or less than 1%, near $US1,174 an ounce.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo reported earnings results Wednesday morning that surpassed analysts’ estimates.

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