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Major Averages Nearly Flat In Morning Trading - U.S. Commentary

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After seeing modest strength in the previous week, stocks are showing a lack of direction in morning trading on Monday. The major averages have spent the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are nearly flat, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. While the Dow is down 2.97 points at 21,411.37, the Nasdaq is up 0.55 points at 6,153.63 and the S&P 500 is up 0.48 points at 2,425.66.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony before Congress.

Yellen is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday and before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The comments from the Fed Chief could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the central bank's monetary policy meeting later this month.

Remarks by several other Fed officials may also attract attention this week along with reports on retail sales, industrial production and producer and consumer prices.

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 notable move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index sliding by 1.7 percent.

Among individual stocks, shares of ClubCorp Holdings (MYCC) are moving sharply higher after the private golf club operator agreed to be acquired by Apollo Global (APO) for $1.1 billion in cash.

Phone company Hawaiian Telcom (HCOM) is also posting a standout gain after agreeing to be acquired by Cincinnati Bell (CBB) for $30.75 per share or about $650 million.

On the other hand, shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) have shown a steep drop on news the apparel retailer has ended talks with potential buyers.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.4, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining some ground after trending lower over the past several sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.8 basis points at 2.375 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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