Dow Firmly Positive In Afternoon Trading, Nasdaq Little Changed

After showing a lack of direction early in the session, stocks continue to turn in a lackluster performance in afternoon trading on Monday.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line, although the narrower Dow has climbed firmly into positive territory.

Currently, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is nearly unchanged, up just 1.39 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 10,476.65.

The S&P 500 is up 10.91 points or 0.3 percent at 3,781.46, while the Dow is up 277.64 points or 0.9 percent at 32,680.86.

The Dow is benefiting from a strong gain by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), with the drugstore chain surging by 3.6 percent.

The jump by Walgreens comes after an affiliate of the company VillageMD agreed to acquire Summit Health-CityMD, a leading provider of primary, specialty and urgent care, for approximately $8.9 billion.

Strong gains by Dow components Boeing (BA), Amgen (AMGN) and Salesforce (CRM) are also contributing to the advance by the blue chip index.

Meanwhile, a notable drop by shares of Apple (AAPL) is weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, with the tech giant slumping by 1.1 percent.

Apple is moving lower after warning Covid-19 restrictions in China are hindering iPhone production and will lead to lower than expected shipments.

Traders also 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.

Sector News

Despite considerable volatility in the crude oil market, oil service stocks continue to see significant strength in afternoon trading.

The Philadelphia Oil Service Index is jumping by 2.2 percent to a five-month intraday high even as crude for December delivery is falling $0.47 to $92.14 a barrel.

Transportation stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside over the course of the session, driving the Dow Jones Transportation Average up by 1.6 percent.

Tobacco, computer hardware and oil producer stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while utilities have moved sharply lower, dragging the Dow Jones Utility Average down by 3.2 percent.

Steel stocks are also seeing considerable weakness in afternoon trading, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index falling by 1.8 percent after ending last Friday’s trading at its best closing level in over two months.

Other Markets

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 turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index ended the day nearly unchanged and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their worst levels of the day but remain in negative territory. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.9 basis points at 4.195 percent.

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