U.S. stocks turned in a mixed performance on Monday as investors continued to weigh the likely impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy despite recent comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that said interest rates will likely remain lower for a long time.
Worries about U.S.-China tensions and reports showing a surge in new coronavirus cases in several states across America weighed on sentiment. Also, investors were quite reluctant to make significant moves due to a lack of positive triggers.
The Dow spent the entire session in the red, and the S&P 500 kept swinging between gains and losses, while the Nasdaq extended recent gains and posted another record closing high.
The Dow ended down 223.82 points or 0.78 percent at 28,430.05. The S&P 500 settled with a loss of 7.70 points or 0.22 percent at 3,500.31, while the tech laden Nasdaq climbed 79.82 points or 0.68 percent to 11,775.46.
The Dow posted a 7.6 percent gain for the month, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 7 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, in August.
After Powell’s remarks about monetary policy and interest rates last week, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said today that rates will not be hiked just becase the jobless rate is coming down.
Speaking at the Peterson Institute for International Economis this morning, Clarida said, “A low unemployment rate by itself, in the absence of evidence that price inflation is running or is likely to run persistently above mandate-consistent levels or pressing financial stability concerns, will not, under our new framework, be a sufficient trigger for policy action.”
Bank shares were mostly weak due to lower treasury yields as investors expect interest rates to remain near zero for a fairly long time.
Apple (AAPL) shares moved up nearly 3.5 percent. DuPont (DWDP) and Intel (INTC) posted modest gains.
Tesla (TSLA) turned in a sparkling performance and ended stronger by as much as 12.3 percent. Alexion Pharma (ALXN) and NetApp (NTAP) surged up 6.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.
General Electric (GE) tumbled more than 4 percent, while Walt Disney (DIS), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Boeing (BA) and Honeywell International (HON) ended lower by 2 to 2.7 percent.
In overseas markets, European stocks ended lower as hopes about fresh stimulus from European Central Bank faded and on weak inflation data from Germany.
Asian markets ended mostly lower despite scoring some early gains on fairly upbeat service sector and manufacturing activity reports from China.
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