U.S. Stocks Close Mixed After Seeing Initial Weakness

After pulling back sharply at the open, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Monday before eventually ending the session mixed.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq surged up to its best closing level in well over two months, while the S&P 500 ended the day nearly flat and the Dow closed in negative territory.

The Nasdaq climbed 71.02 points or 0.8 percent to 9,192.34, the S&P 500 inched up 0.39 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,930.19 and the Dow fell 109.33 points or 0.5 percent to 24,221.99.

The initial weakness on Wall Street came as traders cashed in on recent strength in the markets amid concerns about a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Reports of new clusters of coronavirus cases in South Korea and China raised worries about the potential threats of reopening the economy too quickly.

Data from Germany’s public health agency also indicated coronavirus cases in the country are once again on the rise following recent steps to ease lockdown measures.

The concerns waned over the course of the session, however, with traders continuing to express optimism about a quick economic recovery as some states around the U.S. have already begun to reopen.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed today that certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities can reopen statewide beginning May 15.

Cuomo also said some upstate regions are ready to move into phase one of the state’s reopening plan, which will allow them to resume manufacturing, construction and agricultural operations as well curbside pickup at retail stores.

The advance by the Nasdaq partly reflected gains by big-name tech stocks such as Apple (AAPL), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Microsoft (MSFT), which all moved to the upside on the day.

Sector News

Steel stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 4.9 percent.

Considerable weakness was also visible among gold stocks, which moved sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal.

With gold for June delivery tumbling $15.90 to $1,698 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index plunged by 3.5 percent.

Banking, tobacco and housing stocks also saw significant weakness on the day, while biotechnology stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the session.

Reflecting the strength in the biotech sector, the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index spiked by 3.7 percent to a record closing high.

Healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks also saw notable strength, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index and the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index up by 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up by 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned mixed over the course of the session. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved to the downside after showing a lack of direction early in the day. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.4 basis points to 0.726 percent.

Looking Ahead

A report on consumer price inflation in April is scheduled to be released on Tuesday but is likely to be overshadowed by the latest news on the coronavirus front.

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