Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Monday before eventually ending the session mixed. The lackluster performance came on the heels of the advance seen last week.
While the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 67.23 points or 0.5 percent to 13,881.72, the Dow fell 126.15 points or 0.4 percent to 34,630.24 and the S&P 500 edged down 3.37 points or 0.1 percent to 4,226.52.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves after last week’s advance lifted the major averages to their best closing levels in a month.
Traders remain optimistic about the economic outlook but are still on edge about the possibility of the Federal Reserve scaling back its ultra-easy monetary policy.
A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s report on consumer price inflation on Thursday.
Most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, although substantial strength was visible among biotechnology stocks.
Reflecting the strength in the sector, the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index spiked by 3.6 percent to its best closing level in three months.
Biogen (BIIB) led the sector higher after the FDA granted accelerated approval to the company’s Aduhelm for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Significant strength was also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Tobacco Index.
On the other hand, oil service stocks gave back ground after recent strength, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 2.5 percent.
Steel and chemical stocks also saw notable weakness, offsetting the strength in the aforementioned sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent.
The major European markets also ended the day mixed. While the German DAX Index edged down 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries recovered after an initial drop but still ended the day slightly lower. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, crept up by nearly a basis point at 1.569 percent.
Trading activity may remain relatively subdued on Tuesday amid another quiet day on the U.S. economic front.
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