U.S. Stocks Continue To Show A Lack Of Direction

With traders reluctant to make significant moves following recent strength on Wall Street, stocks continue to turn in a lackluster performance in mid-day trading on Monday.

While the Dow has managed to remain modestly higher, the broader Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have been bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are clinging to slim gains. The Dow is up 48.51 points or 0.2 percent at 26,767.64, the Nasdaq is up 3.52 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 8,035.23 and the S&P 500 is up 1.21 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 2,951.67.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are looking ahead to the highly anticipated G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, later this week.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet during the summit in an effort to kick start stalled trade negotiations.

Reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, durable goods orders, and personal income and spending may also attract attention in the coming days.

Traders are likely to analyze the data with an eye out for any clues about the timing of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed signaled last week that the next move in interest rates would likely be lower but did not specifically outline the time frame for the reduction.

The markets are currently pricing in at least a 25 basis point rate cut at the Fed’s next monetary policy meeting in late July.

Rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran are also keeping traders on the sidelines, with Trump planning to announce new sanctions on Iran later today.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves in mid-day trading, although considerable strength has emerged among gold stocks,

Reflecting the strength in the gold sector, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index has surged up by 1.6 percent to its best intraday level in well over a year.

The strength among gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of gold, with gold for August delivery spiking $19 to $1,419.10 an ounce.

On the other hand, oil service stocks have come under pressure over the course of the session, moving lower along with the price of crude oil.

With crude for August delivery sliding $0.52 to $56.91 a barrel, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 1.4 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region saw modest strength during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.1 and the German DAX Index fell by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are rebounding following the pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.9 basis points at 2.019 percent.

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