Major Averages Turning In Another Mixed Performance

The major U.S. stock indexes have moved in opposite directions for the third consecutive session on Monday. While the Dow and the S&P 500 have moved to the upside, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has turned lower after reaching a record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages continue to turn in a mixed performance. The Nasdaq is down 99.09 points or 0.6 percent at 15,958.34, but the Dow is up 212.44 points or 0.6 percent at 35,814.42 and the S&P 500 is up 15.95 points or 0.3 percent at 4,713.91.

The mixed performance on Wall Street comes after President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve Chair.

The White House also revealed that Biden intends to nominate current Fed Governor Lael Brainard as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve System.

“While there’s still more to be done, we’ve made remarkable progress over the last 10 months in getting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again,” Biden said.

He added, “That success is a testament to the economic agenda I’ve pursued and to the decisive action that the Federal Reserve has taken under Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard to help steer us through the worst downturn in modern American history and put us on the path to recovery.”

Biden expressed confidence Powell and Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make the economy stronger than ever before.

“Fundamentally, if we want to continue to build on the economic success of this year we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve – and I have full confidence after their trial by fire over the last 20 months that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard will provide the strong leadership our country needs,” Biden said.

Powell, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, took office as Fed Chair in February 2018. His current term was due to end in February 2022.

Cyclical stocks have reacted positively to the news amid expectations stability at the Fed will help the central bank as it grapples with the economic recovery and elevated inflation.

Meanwhile, the downturn by the Nasdaq may reflect disappointment that Biden decided against nominating Brainard for Fed Chair, as she is seen as more dovish.

Sector News

Steel stocks continue to see substantial strength in afternoon trading, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index spiking by 3.9 percent. The index continues to recover after ending last Thursday’s trading at its lowest closing level in almost eight months.

Significant strength also remains visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent jump by the KBW Bank Index, which is bouncing off a one-month closing low.

Telecom stocks are also turning in a particularly strong performance on the day, driving the NYSE Arca North American Telecom Index up by 2.5 percent.

Tobacco, oil and transportation stocks are also seeing notable strength, while software and gold stocks have shown considerable moves to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent.

The major European markets also closed mixed after showing a lack of direction over the course of the session. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving notably higher over the three previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 5.8 basis points at 1.594 percent.

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