U.S. Stocks Close Little Changed Following Lackluster Session

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The major U.S. stock indexes turned in another mixed performance during trading on Monday after ending the previous session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

While the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back off last Friday's record closing highs, the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged slightly higher.

The Nasdaq inched up 24.42 points or 0.2 percent to 14,860.18, but the S&P 500 slipped 4.17 points or 0.1 percent to 4,432.35 and the Dow fell 106.66 points or 0.3 percent to 35,101.85.

Stocks continued to turn in a mixed performance following last Friday's better than expected U.S. jobs data.

The closely watched report from the Labor Department added to economic optimism but also raised concerns about the outlook for monetary policy.

Later this week, reports on consumer and producer price inflation may also impact forecasts for when the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its asset purchases.

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

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the downside, however, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index plunging by 2.6 percent.

The sell-off by gold stocks came amid another steep drop by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery plummeted $36.60 to $1,726.50 an ounce.

A steep drop by the price of crude oil also contributed to considerable weakness among oil service stocks, resulting in a 1.9 percent slump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

Airline, oil producer and tobacco stocks also saw notable weakness on the day, while some strength was visible among brokerage and steel stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while South Korea's Kospi fell by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries extended a recent downward trend after initially showing a lack of direction. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.7 basis points to 1.317 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading activity may remain somewhat subdued on Tuesday as traders wait for the reading on consumer price inflation on Wednesday.

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