Stocks are turning in a lackluster performance in early trading on Monday after showing a strong move to the upside in the previous session. The major averages are showing only modest moves amid relatively light trading activity.
The major averages are currently turning in a mixed performance, with the Dow just below the unchanged line. While the Dow is down 1.70 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 12,878.39, the Nasdaq is up 4.93 points or 0.2 percent at 2,939.98 and the S&P 500 is up 1.72 points or 0.1 percent at 1,363.88.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are expressing some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following last Friday's rally, which drove the major averages to their best closing levels in over a month.
Trading activity also remains subdued ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday. Traders are also looking ahead to key employment data later in the week.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, reflecting the lack of direction being shown by the broader markets.
Nonetheless, notable weakness has emerged among natural gas stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index. The loss by index comes after it ended Friday's trading at its best closing level in well over a month.
Among individual stocks, shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) are seeing early strength after the biopharmaceutical company agreed to be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) for $31 per share in cash. The offer price represents a 10 percent premium to Amylin's closing price on Friday.
The transaction has a total value of approximately $7 billion, including Amylin's net debt and a contractual payment obligation to Eli Lilly (LLY).
Computer giant Dell (DELL) also announced an agreement to acquire Quest Software (QSFT) for $28 per share in cash. The agreement values Quest at $2.4 billion, net of Quest's cash and debt.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, with Australia's All Ordinaries Index advancing by 0.9 percent. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and closed just below the unchanged line.
The major European markets are also showing notable moves to the upside on the day. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.9 percent, while the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 1.3 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are regaining some ground after ending the previous session sharply lower. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.6 basis points at 1.623 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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