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Stock Market Update for 03/01/2011

March 1, 2011

With traders awaiting the release of key data on national manufacturing activity, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Tuesday. The major averages have turned mixed after moving modestly higher at the open.stock trading

The choppy trading comes ahead of the release of the Institute for Supply Management’s report on U.S. manufacturing in the month of February at 10 am ET. Data on January construction spending is due to be released at the same time.

Despite the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets, gold stocks are seeing notable strength in early trading, moving higher along with the price of the precious metal.

On the other hand, airline stocks have come under pressure over the course of early trading, with a sharp rise by the price of crude oil contributing to the weakness in the oil-sensitive sector.

In corporate news, Apple Inc. (AAPL) is anticipated to reveal a new version of its iPad in San Francisco today, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Auto parts retailer AutoZone (AZO) reported second quarter net income of $3.34 per share, beating forecasts for earnings of $3.05 per share. Sales for the quarter came in at $1.66 billion, also topping expectations for $1.63 billion.

The major averages are currently on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Nasdaq is down 3.51 points or 0.1 percent at 2,778.76, the Dow is up 11.96 points or 0.1 percent at 12,238.75 and the S&P 500 is up 1.03 points or 0.1 percent at 1,328.25.

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