Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Monday, with the major averages bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line after ending last Friday’s volatile session sharply higher.
Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Nasdaq is down 25.07 points or 0.2 percent at 10,450.18, the S&P 500 is up 5.56 points or 0.2 percent at 3,776.11 and the Dow is up 167.73 points or 0.5 percent at 32,570.95.
The lackluster performance on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday and the release of consumer price inflation data on Thursday.
The midterm elections will determine whether Democrats maintain control of Congress, while the inflation data could impact the outlook for interest rates.
Economists expect a modest slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth, which could add to optimism about a slowdown in the pace of rate hikes.
Early buying interest on Wall Street may also have been partly offset by a drop by shares of Apple (AAPL), with the tech giant slumping by 1.4 percent.
Apple is moving lower after warning Covid-19 restrictions in China are hindering iPhone production and will lead to lower than expected shipments.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Oil service stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index jumping by 2.2 percent to a five-month intraday high.
The rally by oil service stocks comes despite a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for December delivery is slipping $0.34 to $92.27 a barrel.
Tobacco stocks are also turning in a strong performance on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index up by 1.3 percent.
On the other hand, steel stocks have moved sharply lower, resulting in a 2.2 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index is pulling back off its best closing level in over two months.
Significant weakness is also visible among utilities stocks, as reflected by the 1.6 percent drop by the Dow Jones Utility Average.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged by 2.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is just below the unchanged line and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the downside after initially showing a lack of direction. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.9 basis points at 4.205 percent.
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