Following the rebound seen to close out the previous week, stocks have moved back to the downside in morning trading on Monday. The major averages have all slid into negative territory, although selling pressure has remained somewhat subdued.
Currently, the major averages are off their lows of the session but stuck in the red. The Dow is down 133.28 points or 0.4 percent at 34,248.85, the Nasdaq is down 73.53 points or 0.6 percent at 13,356.45 and the S&P 500 is down 16.71 points or 0.4 percent at 4,157.14.
Lingering concerns about inflation and the outlook for monetary policy are weighing on Wall Street ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting on Wednesday.
Traders are likely to closely analyze the Fed minutes for indications officials are growing concerned about the recent acceleration in inflation and considering tapering asset purchases.
The Fed has repeatedly signaled that it believes the increase in inflation largely reflects “transitory factors,” although the spike in consumer prices reported by the Labor Department last week still helped trigger a sell-off on Wall Street.
The pullback seen on the day comes after the rebound seen last Thursday and Friday lifted the major averages off their lowest closing levels in over a month.
In U.S. economic news, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report showing its index of regional manufacturing activity pulled back modestly in May after jumping to a more than three-year high in the previous month.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index dipped to 24.3 in May from 26.3 in April, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity.
Economists had expected the index to slip to 23.9 after reaching its highest level since October of 2017 in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders released a separate report showing homebuilder confidence in the U.S. held stable in the month of May, .
The report showed the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index came in at 83 in May, unchanged from April. The unchanged reading matched economist estimates.
Housing stocks are turning in some of the market’s worst performances following the release of the report, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index falling by 1.3 percent.
Notable weakness is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.
On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 3.2 percent to its best intraday level in over four months.
The rally by gold stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June delivery jumping $23.60 to $1,861.70 an ounce.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are all seeing modest weakness on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction following the volatility seen last week. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by less than a basis point at 1.642 percent.
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