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Wall Street takes a breather after Friday's rally


By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks treaded water on Monday as investors turned wary of the latest round of U.S.-trade talks and a prolonged government shutdown, halting Wall Street's strong surge from Friday.

The struggle for direction comes after the three indexes rallied more than 3 percent on Friday following strong U.S. jobs data and Federal Reserve said the central was not on a preset interest rate-hike path.

Six of the 11 S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1 percent drop in utilities.

The gainers were led by a 1.04 percent jump in consumer discretionary stocks, driven by and Netflix Inc.

and the kicked off talks in on Monday in the first face-to-face meeting since Presidents and in December agreed to a 90-day truce in the trade war to help strike a deal.

After ominous signs the trade war was taking a toll on U.S. growth, including Apple's sales warning and weak factory activity data, investors are worried that corporate profits could take a bigger hit than anticipated.

"Trade has been one of the big factors, along with the budget stalemate, contributing to the climate of fear that we're seeing," said Scott Brown, at in St. Petersburg,

"We've been through this (trade talks) so many times that you'd wonder when the market would get desensitized to it."

U.S. said on Monday the two countries were likely to reach a good settlement over immediate trade issues while an agreement on structural trade issues and enforcement will be harder.

The shutdown entered its third week, with the saying it could "drag on a lot longer".

At 10:03 a.m. ET, the S&P 500 was up 3.35 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,535.29 and the Composite was up 26.11 points, or 0.39 percent, at 6,764.96.

The edged lower by 0.15 percent to 23,397.49 points, weighed down by a drop in trade-sensitive names such as Boeing Co, and 3M Co.

slumped 20.6 percent after reported that the utility was exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017.

jumped 4.3 percent after activist investor called on the company to sell its underperforming business and proposed replacing a majority of its board.

surged 67.0 percent after said it would buy the for about $8 billion. Lilly fell 1.2 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.96-to-1 ratio on the

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week highs or lows, while the recorded 13 new highs and six new lows.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 07 2019. 21:07 IST