US stocks struggle for direction, Nasdaq underperforms

Major US equity indices struggled for a firm direction and witnessed a mixed opening on Wednesday as investors remained on the sidelines amid lingering US-China trade tensions. 

Today's muted trading action comes after two straight sessions of advance for both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Meanwhile, energy stocks gained on the back of a rise in crude oil prices amid worries about supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Florence and provided a minor boost to the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

On the economic data, the wholesale price of US goods and services fell in August for the first time in 18-month, suggesting that the recent upturn in inflation might have eased and thus, failed to provide any catalyst for bullish traders. 

On the other hand, investors continue to track the recent escalation of trade rhetoric between the US and China. Analysts warned that a full-blown trade war between the world's two largest economies would hurt global economic growth, albeit the US equities might continue to find support from encouraging economic data and upbeat corporate earnings reports.

At the time of writing this report, the DJIA was up nearly 30-points, back closer to the 26K mark, and the broader S&P 500 Index treaded water near yesterday's closing level, around 2,887. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell over 40-points to 7,930 and was being weighed down by weakness in shares of Apple, ahead of the expected release of its latest smartphone model.

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