Stocks are showing a mixed performance in mid-afternoon trading on Monday. It has been a lackluster session so far, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged mark.
The Dow is up about 6 points. The Nasdaq is down 9 points. The S&P 500 is showing a decline of less than a point.
There has been little important news to drive trading during the session. After gains posted late last week, stocks have been holding steady, as traders tread water ahead of key information set to be released later in the week.
Traders are waiting for new signs from the world's major central banks. In Europe, there is hope that a resolution of the region's debt crisis will move forward. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy decision in the middle of the week.
While the bulk of earnings season is over, some noteworthy reports are still coming out.
Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) said Friday it slipped to a loss for the second quarter. The miner incurred mine closure and impairment charges amid continued weakness in U.S. coal demand. Nonetheless, the company's results were better than Wall Street analysts had predicted.
Shares of Arch Coal are up 25 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $7.04.
In other news, CB&I (CBI) has reached a definitive merger deal to acquire Shaw Group (SHAW) for around $3 billion. The company will pay $46 per share in a cash and stock transaction.
CB&I is down $5.96, or 14.6 percent. Shares of the acquiring company usually decline after a merger is announced. Shaw Group has advanced $14.61, or 54.7 percent, on the news.
European stocks finished the day sharply higher. France advanced 1.4 percent. Germany posted a gain of 1.3 percent. The U.K. climbed 1.2 percent.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have again vowed to defend the euro. The two leaders made the pledge during a phone conversation on Sunday. They also stated that the decisions made at the EU summit last month must be implemented as quickly as possible.
Asian stocks have finished higher in today's trading. Japan advanced 0.8 percent. Hong Kong climbed 1.6 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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