US stocks were drifting between losses and gains as investors were grappling with higher prices of oil and data showed slowing activity in the manufacturing sector.
According to Bloomberg the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2% or 26 points to 17,138 after it tumbled as much as 127 points during the midmorning.
The S&P 500 remained flat at 1995 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2 points to 4637.
New York-based senior market strategist at Voya Investment Management LLC, Karyn Cavanaugh said, “The bottom line is it all comes down to company earnings and growth is on the positive side. There are a lot of worries out there and the market gets a bit wobbly, but earnings guide the way.”
The S&P 500 dropped 2.8% the past week, and it extended its monthly loss, as the weaker-than-expected economic growth outweighed the rally in energy shares. The index has lost 3.1% for the month, the worst since Jan 2014.
Traders reported mild activity on Monday with investors awaiting the rash of high-profile economic data as well as earnings report.
Europe exchanges closed with gains. The DAX Index of Germany rose 1.3% to hit a record high. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged higher 0.1%, reversing its early losses.
Dan McMahon, director of institutional equity trading at Raymond James was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as having said, “Still, investors’ chief concern is the health of the US economy. The biggest concern is the lack of inflation and if that’s being translated into lack of demand.”
Investors continued keeping an eye on oil prices. The S&P 500 Energy Index gained 1.7%.
Exxon shares rose after reporting Q4 earnings that topped expectations.
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