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U.S. Stocks Close Mostly Lower After Seeing Early Strength

wallstreet oct17 11oct21 lt

After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Monday. With the downturn on the day, the major averages added to the modest losses posted during last Friday's session.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session at their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 250.19 points or 0.7 percent to 34,496.06, the Nasdaq fell 93.34 points or 0.6 percent to 14,486.20 and the S&P 500 dropped 30.15 points or 0.7 percent to 4,361.19.

Lingering concerns about the Federal Reserve scaling back its asset purchases weighed on Wall Street, as last Friday's disappointing job report is not seen as likely to dissuade the central bank from tapering.

Worries about the outlook for inflation also generated selling pressure amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil. Crude for November delivery jumped $1.17 to $80.52 a barrel after reaching its highest intraday level since late 2014.

Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as some traders remained away from their desks for Columbus Day, also known as Indigenous Peoples' Day.

While the stock markets were open on the day, banks, government offices and the bond markets were closed for the holiday.

Brokerage stocks showed a notable move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index down by 1.2 percent.

Weakness was also visible among interest-rate sensitive utilities stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent drop by the Dow Jones Utility Average.

Telecom, airline and banking stocks also moved lower on the day, while steel stocks bucked the downward trend.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 1.6 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index crept up by 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.7 percent.

Looking Ahead

Following today's holiday, the economic calendar remains relatively quiet on Tuesday, although a report on job openings may attract some attention.

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