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U.S. Stocks Little Changed In Mid-Day Trading

wallstreet sept05 26jul21 lt

After showing a lack of direction early in the session, stocks continue to turn in a lackluster performance in mid-day trading on Monday. Despite the choppy trading, the major averages have set new record intraday highs.

Currently, the major averages are lingering near the unchanged line. The Dow is up 16.85 points or 0.1 percent at 35,078.40, the Nasdaq is up 0.16 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 14,837.15 and the S&P 500 is up 5.04 points or 0.1 percent at 4,416.83.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders take a breather after a four-day winning streak lifted the major averages to new record closing highs last Friday.

The rally represented a remarkable turnaround for the markets following the sell-off last Monday, which dragged the major averages down to their lowest closing levels in almost a month.

Upbeat earnings news contributed to rebound along with continued optimism about the economy despite some concerns about the spread of new coronavirus variants.

Traders may also be reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will be paying close attention to any comments regarding the central bank's asset purchase program.

Traders are also likely to keep an eye on some key U.S. economic data, including reports on durable goods orders, consumer confidence, second quarter GDP and personal income and spending.

The Commerce Department released a report this morning unexpectedly showing another steep drop in new home sales in the month of June.

The report said new home sales tumbled by 6.6 percent to an annual rate of 676,000 in June after plunging by 7.8 percent to a revised rate of 724,000 in May.

The continued nosedive surprised economists, who had expected new home sales to jump by 4.0 percent to an annual rate of 800,000 from the 769,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the unexpected decrease, new home sales slumped to their lowest annual rate since hitting 582,000 in April of last year.

Earnings news may also attract attention this week, with Tesla (TSLA), General Electric (GE), Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Boeing (BA), McDonald's (MCD), Pfizer (PFE), Amazon (AMZN), and Exxon Mobil (XOM) among a slew of companies due to report their quarterly results.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, although steel stocks have moved sharply higher, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 2.8 percent to its best intraday level in a month.

Considerable strength also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 2.3 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

The rally by oil service stocks comes despite a decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for August delivery falling $0.48 to $71.59 a barrel.

Gold, airline and oil producer stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while biotechnology stocks have moved to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Monday, although Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and jumped by 1 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 2.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 4.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent.

In the bond markets, treasuries are regaining ground after trending lower over the past few sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.6 basis points at 1.270 percent.

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