Stocks opened lower today and slid further into the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) , S&P (INDEX: ^GSPC ) , and Nasdaq: (INDEX: ^INIX ) were all down after the opening bell. But they quickly fought back, and the Nasdaq pushed into positive territory just before noon.
What's up, doc?
Recently released data isn't doing much to help the markets fight back, either. The ISM Services Index improved to 52.6 in December, but still trails the expected reading of 53.0.
On the other hand, the dollar is having a great day. The greenback built on early strengths and is leading many major currencies by as much as 1%. The euro has continued to lose traction against the dollar and now trades for just 1.3 times the U.S. currency, down from almost 1.5 times in late April.
Precious metals also saw some movement from early dips, but are still down. Gold traded at about $1,604 per ounce, down 0.5%, around noon, while silver still trades at a 0.6% loss for the day to $28.9 per ounce. Investors of ProShares Ultra Silver (AMEX: AGQ ) are probably finding little solace in the reduced loss, as the ETF is still down 36% over the last year. The ETF provides a daily investments return that is twice the daily movement in prices for silver and has underperformed its counterpart, gold, since mid-September.
Natural gas prices are still facing tough pressure and traded down over 2% in early-morning trading. The energy sector took it on the chin earlier today and was among the worst-performing sectors of the day.
There still isn't any singular piece of positive or negative news moving the markets today. Stay tuned to see if the indexes move largely into the green or skid around their open prices for the afternoon.
While watching the market's daily movements can certainly be exciting, if you'd rather pick a stock you can sleep easy owning and not worry about checking on it every day, I urge you to take a look at The Motley Fool's special FREE report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." In it you'll uncover one stock we're confident is a winner in 2012. We like it so much we've dubbed it "the Costco of Latin America." The report is free today, but it won't be forever, so click here to uncover it today!