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U.S. Stocks Move Modestly Lower Following Last Friday's Rally

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Following the rally seen last Friday, stocks have moved modestly lower in morning trading on Monday. The major averages have all moved to the downside, although selling pressure has remained relatively subdued.

Currently, the major averages are off their lows of the session but still posting slim losses. The Dow is down 64.95 points or 0.2 percent at 26,508.77, the Nasdaq is down 6.49 points or 0.1 percent at 7,975.99 and the S&P 500 is down 5.84 points or 0.2 percent at 2,946.17.

Lingering concerns about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war are weighing on the markets ahead of the next round of high-level trade talks in Washington later this week.

Ahead of the talks, scheduled to begin on Thursday, a report from Bloomberg News said Chinese officials are signaling they're increasingly reluctant to agree to the broad trade deal being pursued by President Donald Trump.

Citing people familiar with the discussions, Bloomberg said senior Chinese officials have indicated the range of topics they're willing to discuss has narrowed considerably.

An offer from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He would purportedly not include reforming Chinese industrial policy or government subsidies.

The upcoming negotiations come as the trade war continues to hang over the economy, with a survey by the National Association for Business Economics showing 53 percent of economists see trade policy as the key downside risk to the economy.

The NABE said four out of five panelists believe that risks to the economic outlook are weighted to the downside, an increase from the 60 percent who held this view in June.

"The panel turned decidedly more pessimistic about the outlook over the summer, with 80% of participants viewing risks to the outlook as tilted to the downside," said Survey Chair Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, "The rise in protectionism, pervasive trade policy uncertainty, and slower global growth are considered key downside risks to U.S. economic activity."

Despite the pullback by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in morning trading.

Tobacco and utilities stocks are seeing some weakness on the day, while oil service stocks have shown a strong move to the upside amid a notable increase by the price of crude oil.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with markets in China closed for a holiday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed by 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher over the past several sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.6 basis points at 1.541 percent.

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