Stocks are seeing modest weakness in early trading on Monday, giving back some ground following the recent strength in the markets. The major averages have slipped into negative territory, although selling pressure has remained subdued.
The major averages are currently posting modest losses but are off their lows for the young session. The Dow is down 12.85 points or 0.1 percent at 13,262.35, the Nasdaq is down 7.64 points or 0.3 percent at 3,068.95 and the S&P 500 is down 1.76 points or 0.1 percent at 1,416.40.
Profit taking may be contributing to the early weakness on Wall Street, with some traders cashing in on the recent gains, which lifted the major averages to their highest levels in over three months.
A negative reaction to disappointing quarterly results from Lowe's (LOW) may also be generating some negative sentiment. Shares of Lowe's are down by 3.2 percent after the home improvement retailer reported weaker than expected second quarter results and provided disappointing guidance.
Nonetheless, most traders seem to be staying on the sidelines amid a relatively light day on both the economic and corporate news fronts.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves, although some weakness is visible among networking, housing, and software stocks.
On the other hand, shares of Coventry Health Care (CVH) have moved sharply higher after the health insurer agreed to be acquired by rival Aetna (AET) in a transaction valued at $7.3 billion, including the assumption of Coventry debt.
Under the terms of the agreement, Coventry stockholders will receive $27.30 in cash and 0.3885 Aetna common shares for each Coventry share, or $42.08 per share based on Aetna's closing on Friday.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index crept up by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.1 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the German DAX Index is just above the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction, lingering near the unchanged line. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.819 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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