Markets

U.S. Stocks Showing Modest Move To The Downside

(RTTNews) - Stocks are seeing modest weakness in morning trading on Monday, giving back ground after climbing to new record highs last Friday. The major averages have all moved to the downside, although selling pressure has remained relatively subdued.

Currently, the major averages are lingering below the unchanged line. The Dow is down 22.32 points or 0.1 percent at 27,982.57, the Nasdaq is down 25.40 points or 0.3 percent at 8,515.43 and the S&P 500 is down 5.77 points or 0.2 percent at 3,114.69.

The modest weakness on Wall Street comes after a tweet from CNBC's Beijing Bureau Chief Eunice Yoon suggested Chinese officials have grown pessimistic about the chances for a trade deal.

"Mood in Beijing about #trade deal is pessimistic, government source tells me. #China troubled after Trump said no tariff rollback. (China thought both had agreed in principle.)" Yoon tweeted.

She added, "Strategy now to talk but wait due to impeachment, US election. Also prioritize China economic support."

Yoon's tweet offset earlier positive sentiment in reaction to weekend report from Chinese state media indicating the U.S. and China had "constructive discussions" regarding a phase one trade deal in a high-level phone call.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly talked with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He about the core issues for an agreement.

Nonetheless, traders have recently shown a predilection for taking upbeat reports about the trade talks at face value while shrugging off negative news.

The prevailing optimism about a trade deal has led to a steady upward trend on Wall Street for the past month and a half and kept selling pressure subdued this morning.

On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing homebuilder confidence edged slightly lower in the month of November.

The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index slipped to 70 in November after climbing to 71 in October. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

The modest decrease came after the housing market index rose for four straight months to reach its highest level since hitting a matching reading in February of 2018.

Energy stocks are turning in some of the market's worst performances in morning trading amid decreases in associated commodities prices.

With natural gas for December delivery slumping $0.078 to $2.610 per million BTUs, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is plunging by 3 percent, while the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 2 percent as crude for December delivery is sliding $0.55 to $57.17 a barrel.

On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.2 percent.

The strength among gold stocks comes amid a relatively modest increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for December delivery rising $2.60 to $1,471.10 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 rose by 0.5 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks have moved mostly lower on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.6 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.7 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a strong move back to the upside after last Friday's pullback. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.4 basis points at 1.800 percent.

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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