U.S. Stocks Hover Around Flat

By Alexander Osipovich and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks hovered around the flatline Monday, as a slump in materials shares offset gains in the energy and technology sectors.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21012. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1% after briefly touching an intraday record in early trading. The Nasdaq Composite added less than 0.1%.

Materials shares in the S&P 500 declined 0.9% amid a further slide in prices for industrial metals. Copper for July delivery lost 1.4% on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after weak economic data from China raised concerns about slipping demand from the world's largest consumer of the metal.

Freeport-McMoRan declined 1.1%. Dow component DuPont fell 1.1%.

Energy stocks were among the best performers in the S&P 500, rising 0.7%. Exxon Mobil gained 1.1% and Chevron added 0.8%.

Tech stocks gained. Apple rose 2.7%, lifting the Dow, after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed it had more than doubled its stake in the iPhone maker during the first quarter.

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Earlier, investors sold European stocks and currencies after Emmanuel Macron's widely anticipated victory in French elections .

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1% from Friday's nearly two-year closing high, while France's CAC-40 index lost 0.9% from its highest close since early 2008.

The euro was off 0.6% at $1.093 after briefly touching a seven-month high following Sunday's victory for Mr. Macron, who vowed to reform France's economy and fight Europe's nationalist wave.

"With the market expecting this kind of result [in the French election], there is no goodwill effect today," said Gilles Pradère, a portfolio manager at RAM Active Investments.

Focus for investors in Europe now turns to French legislative elections in June, which analysts say will determine whether Mr. Macron can push through his agenda, and upcoming votes in Germany and Italy.

U.S. government bonds weakened Monday, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.376%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.352% on Friday. Yields move inversely to prices.

U.S. investors are looking ahead to the tail end of corporate earnings season. Disney is set to report quarterly results Tuesday, and major retailers such as Macy's, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney are expected to report later in the week.

Tyson Foods dropped 6.1% after the poultry maker said its quarterly earnings fell.

Markets in Asia mostly moved higher. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 2.3% to its highest level in 17 months.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.8%, however, amid concerns that sustained regulatory tightening might force funds to exit. Investors were jolted by rumors on social media Friday that regulators were scrutinizing asset-management operations as part of efforts to cut leverage in the financial industry.

Write to Alexander Osipovich at alexander.osipovich@dowjones.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite inched to fresh highs Monday, lifted by gains in technology and energy shares.

A new record close from Apple boosted the indexes, which spent much of the day in negative territory before popping higher in the final minutes of trading.

Technology stocks have been top performers in the S&P 500 this year, rising 17% since the start of 2017 and pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to 29 records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 5.34 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21012.28. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.09 point, or less than 0.1%, to 2399.38, while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.90 points, or less than 0.1%, to 6102.66.

Index-heavyweight Apple added $4.05, or 2.7%, to $153.01 after billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed it had more than doubled its stake in the iPhone maker during the first quarter.

Energy firms were the best-performing sector in the S&P 500, adding 0.7% as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude futures for June delivery rose 0.5% to $46.43 a barrel.

Exxon Mobil gained 87 cents, or 1.1%, to 82.89 and Chevron added 89 cents, or 0.8%, to 106.68.

Declines in industrial-metals prices weighed on materials producers, limiting gains. Materials shares in the S&P 500 fell 0.9% as copper prices slipped after weak economic data from China raised concerns about slowing demand from the world's largest consumer of the metal. Copper futures for May delivery lost 1.3% to settle at $2.4855 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Freeport-McMoRan declined 13 cents, or 1.1%, to 11.67 and Dow component DuPont fell 88 cents, or 1.1%, to 80.26.

Tyson Foods dropped 3.85, or 6.1%, to 59.48 after the poultry maker said its quarterly earnings fell.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.1% from Friday's nearly two-year closing high after Emmanuel Macron's widely anticipated victory in French elections . France's CAC-40 index lost 0.9% from its highest close since early 2008.

"With the market expecting this kind of result [in the French election], there is no goodwill effect," said Gilles Pradère, a portfolio manager at RAM Active Investments.

The outcome of the French election has contributed to a drop in a closely watched measure of expected U.S. stock-market volatility, the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX. The VIX fell to 9.77 on Monday, notching its lowest close since 1993.

Focus for investors in Europe now turns to French legislative elections in June, which analysts say will determine whether Mr. Macron can push through his agenda, along with upcoming votes in Germany and Italy.

U.S. government bonds weakened Monday, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.376%, from 2.352% on Friday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Markets in Asia mostly moved higher. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 2.3% to its highest level in 17 months. The Shanghai Composite declined 0.8%.

Write to Alexander Osipovich at alexander.osipovich@dowjones.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 08, 2017 17:34 ET (21:34 GMT)