Following the mixed performance seen last week, the major U.S. stock indexes have once again moved in opposite directions in morning trading on Monday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq has edged higher, the Dow and the S&P 500 have moved to the downside.
Currently, the Nasdaq is up 25.57 points or 0.2 percent at 14,095.00 after reaching its best intraday level in well over a month. Meanwhile, the Dow is down 139.63 points or 0.4 percent at 34,339.97 and the S&P 500 is down 8.65 points or 0.2 percent at 4,238.79.
The mixed performance on Wall Street comes as traders remain reluctant to make significant moves ahead of 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 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.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to another lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Computer hardware stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index currently up by 1.5 percent after reaching a record intraday high.
Significant strength is also visible among oil stocks, which are moving higher along with the price of crude oil. With crude for July delivery climbing $0.78 to $71.69 a barrel, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.4 percent.
On the other hand, steel stocks have moved notably lower over the course of the morning, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 1.2 percent.
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.
The major European markets have also shown modest moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have come under pressure 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 2.4 basis points at 1.486 percent.
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