The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off its session lows but still negative for a fifth straight day as a brewing trade war between the US and China continued to weigh on global financial markets. Investors' risk aversion was amplified by the potential fallout from retaliatory actions between the US and China last week, driving the blue chip index more than 260 points lower at the open.
The energy sector was also a headwind for Wall Street early Monday until oil futures reversed direction on reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to lower production increases than originally expected. Led by gains in oil stocks as well as the retail sector, the major market averages trimmed their losses with the Nasdaq briefly trading in the green.
Housing market data was briefly negative for stocks as tariffs on Canadian lumber translated into waning confidence among US homebuilders. The National Association of Home Builders June housing market index fell to 68 from 70 in May, well below the consensus estimate for an increase to 78.
Europe's bourses were all lower as the tenuous political future of German chancellor Angela Merkel and UK prime minister Theresa May undermined investor confidence. Merkel's immigration policy is threatening the brittle coalition government between the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union. In the UK, the contentious Brexit issue pitted May's own government against the prime minister.
Crude oil was up $0.08 to $65.14 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.06 to $2.96 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $2.50 to $1,281.00 an ounce, while silver was down $0.01 to $16.46 an ounce. Copper was down $0.04 to $3.11 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.84% to $13.16 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.28% to $23.96. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.19% to 22.19 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.18% to $121.12. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.67% to $15.50.
Here's where the markets stand at midday:
NYSE Composite Index was down 51.74 points (-0.41%) to 12,682.00
Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 159.51 points (-0.64%) to 24,930.97
S&P 500 was down 8.93 points (-0.32%) to 2,770.68
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 17.87 points (-0.23%) to 7,728.49
FTSE 100 was down 27.83 points (-0.36%) to 7,606.08
DAX was down 178.34 points (-1.37%) to 12,832.21
CAC 40 was down 68.15 points (-1.24%) to 5,433.73
Nikkei 225 was down 171.42 points (-0.75%) to 22,680.33
Hang Seng Index was closed
Shanghai China Composite Index was closed
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 140.37 points (+1.19%) to 11,898.87
NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 27.72 points (-0.34%) to 7,905.26
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 140.22 points (-0.95%) to 14,634.19
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