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U.S. Stocks Move Modestly Higher After Seeing Early Weakness

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After moving to the downside early in the session, stocks have rebounded over the course of the trading day on Monday. The major averages have bounced well off their lows of the session and into positive territory.

Currently, the major averages are posting modest gains. The Dow is up 20.54 points or 0.1 percent at 26,594.26, the Nasdaq is up 14.74 points or 0.2 percent at 7,997.21 and the S&P 500 is up 2.36 points or 0.1 percent at 2,954.37.

Traders seem reluctant to make significant moves 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."

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

Oil service stocks have moved notably higher along with the price of crude oil, while moderate weakness has emerged among natural gas stocks.

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 all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.6 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 2.9 basis points at 1.544 percent.

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