Close Update: Wall Street Struggles to Find Direction With Fed Speakers in Focus


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The main US markets struggled to find direction on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite touching a record high on an intraday basis before pulling back. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fluctuated between gains and losses as oil prices retreated and amid a busy week of Federal Reserve speakers.

A positive day for tech heavyweight Apple ( AAPL ), which gained 1.1% on comments in Barron's and from RBC Capital Markets along with a price target boost from Cowen, had helped push the Nasdaq and the Dow higher. But the advances didn't amount to a broader move as about a third of the components on the blue-chip index weakened and seven of the 11 sectors on the S&P fell.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he supports two or three rate hikes this year. Philadelphia Fed's Patrick Harker said he won't rule out three increases this year. Meanwhile, Minneapolis Fed's Neel Kashkari defended his dissent of last week's rate increase, saying nothing has really changed over the past several years, which justifies letting the economy run.

And there's more Fed commentary for investors to parse coming up this week, with four speakers on Tuesday, Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday, and Evans again on Friday among others.

On the S&P 500, the energy sector was down 0.1% as West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, lost 1.2% late in the session to $48.22 a barrel. The talk of more rate hikes didn't help the financials group, which was down 0.8%. Utilities shed 0.7%

Here's where the markets stood by the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.76 points (-0.04%)

S&P 500 was 4.78 points (-0.20%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.53 points (+0.01%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.07%

Nikkei 225 was closed

Hang Seng Index was up 0.79%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.41%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) ESPR (+74.1%) LDL-C lowering program clears FDA regulatory hurdle

(+) NKTR (+42.7%) Chronic pain study meets primary and secondary endpoints

(+) CTMX (+24.4%) Expands partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY )

(+) DDC (+23) Receives $1.8 million takeover bid by Washington Corp

(+) FEYE (+8.2%) Bank of America upgrades shares to buy, raises price target

(+) SNAP (1.5%) Gets first buy rating since public listing, from Crespi, Hardt & Co., Reuters says

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CERU (-62.8%) Enters into a stock purchase agreement with Dare Bioscience

(-) GNMX (-59.4%) SAGA trial of AEVI-101 did not meet primary endpoints

(-) INCR (-2.4%) SunTrust downgrades to hold from buy

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: AAPL , BMY , ESPR


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