U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground In Early Trading


After inching up to new record closing highs last Friday, stocks may give back some ground in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 130 points.


Profit taking may contribute to initial weakness on Wall Street, as some traders look to cash in on last week's strong gains.


Uncertainty about a potential U.S.-China trade deal may weigh on the markets along with worsening tensions in Hong Kong after the arrest of three pro-democracy lawmakers.


Trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, with the Veterans Day holiday keeping some traders on the sidelines.


The economic calendar remains quiet due to the holiday, although reports on consumer and producer prices, retail sales and industrial production may attract attention in the coming days.


Traders are also likely to keep an eye on President Donald Trump's speech at the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday.


Stocks turned in a lackluster performance for much of the trading session on Friday but managed to end the day mostly higher. With the gains on the day, the major averages all finished the session at new record closing highs.


The major averages moved to the upside going into the close to end the day at their highs of the session. The Dow inched up 6.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 27,681.24, the Nasdaq climbed 40.80 points or 0.5 percent to 8,475.31 and the S&P 500 rose 7.90 points or 0.3 percent to 3,093.08.


For the week, the Dow and the Nasdaq jumped by 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while the S&P 500 advanced by 0.9 percent.


In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.6 percent.


The major European markets have also moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent.


In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.50 to $56.74 a barrel after inching up $0.09 to $57.24 last Friday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,461.90, down $1 from the previous session's close of $1,462.90. On Friday, gold fell $3.50.


On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 108.96 yen compared to the 109.26 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1040 compared to last Friday's $1.1018.

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