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US stocks mixed ahead of week's key data

US stocks mixed ahead of week's key data

Investors are beginning a holiday-shortened week on a cautious note.
Stocks seesawed in light trading early Monday, following mixed moves in overseas markets. Stocks in Asia were lower, while European markets advanced.
As the second quarter comes to a close, investors are at a crossroads. After running up the market more than 30 percent in three months on a litany of "less bad" economic data, investors have become skeptical of the economy's recovery in recent weeks, desiring more concrete signs of growth.
Reflecting the market's wary outlook, investors bought up Treasurys, sending yields lower.
There is little by way of economic or corporate news scheduled for Monday. However, this week, which is abbreviated by the Independence Day holiday on Friday, brings key data that will give investors a better sense of where the economy is headed.
Of particular importance is the government's monthly employment report, due Thursday. Though considered a lagging indicator of the country's economic health, the unemployment rate is still one of the most closely watched gauges of the economy. The labor market is intricately tied to many facets of the economy, including consumer spending.
Investors will also get readings on consumer confidence and manufacturing this week.
In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.55, or 0.2 percent, to 8,458.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.32, or 0.03 percent, to 919.22, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 6.92, or 0.4 percent, to 1,831.30.
Declining stocks were roughly even with advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange where volume came to a light 150.6 million shares.
Though the Dow Jones industrial average is still up 28.9 percent from a 12-year low on March 9, it has fallen 4.1 percent from a five-month high on June 12.
Last week, the major indexes finished mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.2 percent; the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.3 percent; and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.6 percent.
Analysts say the market will likely be rocky again this week, as investment managers try to square their portfolios ahead of the end of the April-June period on Tuesday.
One point of interest Monday will be the sentencing of Bernard Madoff, the mastermind behind a multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme.
Madoff pleaded guilty in March to securities fraud and other charges. Prosecutors are seeking a 150-year jail sentence, while his lawyers are insisting that 12 years in prison is sufficient punishment.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, dropped to 3.46 percent from 3.53 percent late Friday.
The dollar was mixed against other major currencies. Gold prices fell.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 7.53, or 1.5 percent, to 505.69.


Updated : 2021-05-19 09:03 GMT+08:00