Amid alternate bouts of buying and selling in blue chip stocks, the market, which pared some gains after a fairly bright start, is back in positive territory after a mild setback it suffered earlier this afternoon.
The mood, despite some optimism about a solution to the Greek debt crisis, remains quite cautious amid lingering worries about the near term outlook for the Indian economy. Movements at a few front line counters are a bit listless due to the expiry of near month derivatives contracts this Thursday.
With a holiday on Wednesday for Guru Nanak Jayanti, investors appear reluctant to build up significant positions. Consumer durables, metal and healthcare stocks are in demand.
The Sensex, which dropped down to around 18,508 after rising to 18,590.33 in early trade, is now up 54.80 points or 0.3% at 18,561.37. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 12 points or 0.21% at 5638.60.
Information technology, FMCG and capital goods stocks are also finding some notable support. Realty, power, oil and automobile stocks are trading mixed. Bank stocks are mostly subdued.
Sesa Goa, Wipro, IDFC, Tata Steel and Hindalco are up 2% - 2.4%. Hindustan Unilever, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Power, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro, Lupin and Siemens are also trading notably higher.
Mahindra & Mahindra is trading lower by over 2%. Ultratech Cement, BHEL, HDFC Bank, Ambuja Cements and BPCL are down 1% - 1.6%. GAIL India, HDFC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries an ICICI Bank are also trading weak.
Jet Airways (up 15% at Rs 578) is trading sharply higher amid huge volumes. The stock hit a high of Rs 598.80 today. On the National Stock Exchange, the Jet Airways counter tops the chart, clocking a turnover of over Rs 526 crore on a volume of more than 9.3 million shares. The stock is up on reports that Abu Dhabi - based Etihad may buy a stake in the company. The stock had spurted nearly 16% in the previous session.
United Spirits (up 3.2% at Rs 9140) has rallied on impressive volumes following a rating upgrade of the stock by Nomura. Pantaloon Retail (6.3%), Karnataka Bank (3.5%), Reliance Communications (5.3%) and Strides Arcolab (up nearly 10%) have also risen sharply on strong volumes.