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Stocks Showing A Lack Of Direction In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary


Stocks are turning in another lackluster performance in morning trading on Monday, as traders remain reluctant to make any significant moves. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has reached a new record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are posting modest gains. The Dow is up 30.10 points or 0.1 percent at 20,944.72, the Nasdaq is up 11.02 points or 0.2 percent at 5,912.02 and the S&P 500 is up 0.17 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,378.42.

The lack of direction being shown by stocks comes as many traders are sticking to the sidelines amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

The economic calendar remains relatively light throughout the week, although traders are likely to keep an eye on reports on new and existing home sales and durable goods orders.

Speeches by a number of Federal Reserve officials may also attract attention this week after the central bank's decision to raise interest rates by a quarter point last week.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Biotechnology stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index jumping by 1.7 percent.

Within the biotech sector, Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) is posting a standout gain after announcing positive results from a study of its new opioid pain medication.

Notable strength is also visible among semiconductor stocks, while a decrease by the price of crude oil is weighing on the energy sector.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.8 percent, while Australia's All Ordinaries Index fell by 0.4 percent. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly lower on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction after trending higher in recent sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 2.495 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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