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Major Averages Turn Mixed After Seeing Initial Strength - U.S. Commentary


After initially moving to the upside, stocks have turned mixed over the course of morning trading on Monday. While the Dow and the S&P 500 have remained in positive territory, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has pulled back into the red.

The Nasdaq is down 17.06 points or 0.2 percent at 7,799.37, but the Dow is up 81.06 points or 0.3 percent at 25,750.28 and the S&P 500 is up 2.09 points or 0.1 percent at 2,852.22.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes as traders seem to be expressing optimism about upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Last Friday, a report from the Wall Street Journal said Chinese and U.S. negotiators are drawing up a road map for talks to try to end their trade impasse.

Citing officials in both nations, the Journal indicated the plan would culminate in planned meetings between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at multilateral summits in November.

The report came following news that China accepted an invitation from the U.S. for a new round of trade talks to be held later this month.

China's Ministry of Commerce said that a Chinese delegation led by Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen will travel to the U.S. for trade talks to be held with U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

The Journal said the U.S.-China trade talks in Washington would take place on August 21st and 22nd, just before the next round of tariffs targeting $16 billion worth of goods on both sides kick in on August 23rd.

Buying interest waned shortly after the open, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although considerable strength is visible among oil service stocks. Reflecting the strength in the sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.2 percent.

The strength among oil service stocks comes amid an increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for September delivery rising $0.38 to $66.29 a barrel.

Steel and chemical stocks are also seeing notable strength in morning trading, while some weakness is visible among semiconductor stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has spiked by 1.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved notably higher after ending the previous session roughly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4 basis points at 2.832 percent.

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