U.S. Stocks Mostly Subdued As Investors Look Ahead To Earnings, Inflation Data

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Despite coming off the session's lows, the major U.S. averages continue to remain in negative territory nearly an hour past noon on Monday with investors making cautious moves as they look ahead to the upcoming inflation data and await earnings announcements.

Despite the pace of vaccination gathering momentum in the U.S., worries about a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries across the world and likelihood of fresh lockdown measures at several places are weighing on sentiment.

Investors are also reacting to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's reiteration on Sunday that the central bank wants to see inflation rise about its 2 percent target for an extended period before the monetary policy committee moves to raise interest rates.

The Dow, which slid to 33,690.94, is down 66.47 points or 0.2 percent at 33,734.13 about an hour past noon. The Nasdaq is lower by 27.04 points or 0.21 percent at 13,873.14, while the S&P 500 is down marginally at 4,129.00.

Data on inflation, retail sales and industrial production are due out this week. Fed's Beige Book, a compilation of economic evidence from the twelve Fed districts also is scheduled this week.

Top banks JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are scheduled to announce their quarterly results on Wednesday.

Nuance Communications shares skyrocketed nearly 20 percent, lifted by an announcement from Microsoft that it will by the speech recognition company in a deal worth $16 billion.

Tesla Inc shares are up 3 percent following a rating upgrade of the stock by Canaccord Genuity.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks ended lower on Monday, weighed down by a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the region and likely restrictions on economic activity. The major markets in the region, India, China and Japan, all ended sharply lower.

European stocks ended weak with investors largely making cautious moves after recent rise, and on concerns about a surge in coronavirus cases in several parts of Asia.

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