U.S. Stocks Giving Back Ground Following Last Friday's Rally

Stocks have moved mostly lower during trading on Monday, giving back ground following the strong upward move seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the downside, although selling pressure has remained somewhat subdued.

Currently, the major averages are off their lows of the session but still in negative territory. The Dow is down 50.76 points or 0.2 percent at 34,232.34, the Nasdaq is down 70.42 points or 0.5 percent at 13,727.69 and the S&P 500 is down 16.55 points or 0.4 percent at 4,398.69.

The pullback on Wall Street comes as some traders look to cash in on last Friday’s rally, which lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq to a nearly two-month closing high.

The Dow and the S&P 500 also surged to their best closing levels in well over a month, more than offsetting the pullback seen on Thursday.

Negative sentiment has also been generated in reaction to news credit rating agency Moody’s has lowered its outlook for the U.S.’ credit rating to negative from stable.

Moody’s reaffirmed the U.S. credit rating at Aaa but said it “expects that the U.S.’ fiscal deficits will remain very large, significantly weakening debt affordability.”

Overall trading activity remains somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the release of key inflation data in the coming days.

The inflation data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates, with traders recently expressing optimism the Federal Reserve is done raising rates.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks are showing a notable pullback after rallying last Friday’s, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index falling by 2.2 percent after ending the previous session at its best closing level in two months.

Considerable weakness is also visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities and commercial real estate stocks have also shown notable moves to the downside, while tobacco stocks have moved sharply higher.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has climbed by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved lower after ending last Friday’s trading roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.6 basis points at 4.674 percent.

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