Dow Slides More Firmly Into The Red But Nasdaq Remains Positive

After moving in opposite directions early in the session, the major U.S. stocks indexes continue to turn in a mixed performance in mid-day trading on Monday. The Nasdaq remains in positive territory, while the Dow has slid more firmly into the red and the S&P 500 is posting a modest loss.

Currently, the Nasdaq is up 46.46 points or 0.3 percent at 14,115.89 after reaching its best intraday level in well over a month. Meanwhile, the Dow is down 221.80 points or 0.6 percent at 34,257.80 and the S&P 500 is down 10.44 points or 0.3 percent at 4,237.00.

The mixed performance on Wall Street comes as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed is widely expected to leave its monetary policy unchanged, but traders will be looking for any clues the central bank is considering tapering its asset purchases.

Last Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed consumer price inflation reached the highest level in nearly thirteen years in May, although Fed officials have repeatedly downplayed the risks of prolonged inflation.

Traders will likely pay close attention to any changes to the Fed’s comments about inflation, with previous statements largely attributing rising inflation to “transitory factors.”

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of a slew of data in the coming days.

While the Fed announcement will be in the spotlight, traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on producer prices, retail sales, industrial production, and housing starts.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors continue to show only modest moves in mid-day trading, although banking stocks have moved significantly lower over the course of the session.

Reflecting the weakness in the banking sector, the KBW Bank Index has fallen by 1.4 percent to its lowest intraday level in over a month.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Housing and chemical stocks are also seeing notable weakness, while strength in the computer hardware sector has lifted the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 1.5 percent to a record intraday high.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Monday, although several major markets were closed for holidays. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi inched up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the downside after ending the previous session nearly unchanged. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.9 basis points at 1.491 percent.

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