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The markets wobbled between positive and negative territory on Monday following last week's steep retreat as traders mulled developments in Europe over the weekend.
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As of 3:15 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.6 points, or 0.06%, to 13029, the S&P 500 rose 1.9 points, or 0.14%, to 1371 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 6.6 points, or 0.22%, to 2963.
The broad S&P 500 slid 2.4% in its worst showing of the year last week amid data suggesting the recovery in the world's biggest economy may be slowing down. These reports, capped with a disappointing April jobs read, came on the heels of data suggesting many economies in the eurozone may actually be contracting at an increasing pace.
Closely-watched elections in France and Greece added to the concerns for the ailing currency bloc. François Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in elections in France in what many called a referendum of the painful budget-cutting measures the country was taking to chop down its public debt. Hollande will be the first socialist president in 17 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. While he plans on continuing to cut the country's deficit, he plans on asking wealthy individuals to kick in more.
Analysts worry that Hollande is unlikely to agree to the same extent his predecessor did with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on tough austerity measures for the eurozone.
"While Mr Hollande's victory in the French presidential election was in line with expectations, his relationship with Germany's chancellor is untested," analysts at Barclays Capital wrote in a note to clients.
Separately, in Greece, the Pasok and New Democracy parties, which had pushed for austerity measures in return for billions of euros of rescue aid failed to scoop up even a third the votes in parliamentary elections, according to the Journal. Instead, the electorate chose candidates on the more extreme left and right who opposed the steps that have weighed heavily on the country's economy.
"The problems in Europe transcend those in any specific country," Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett said Monday in an interview with FOX Business' Liz Claman.
Indeed, the fiscal pact that binds countries within the eurozone to keep their public finances in check could come into jeopardy as a result of fresh political turmoil there.
Energy futures were mostly lower following steep losses last week. Crude oil traded in New York fell 56 cents, or 0.56%, to $97.94 a barrel. Wholesale New York harbor gasoline slid 0.06% to $2.97 a gallon.
In metals, gold dipped $6.10, or 0.37%, to $1,639 a troy ounce.
European blue chips jumped 1.6% and the German DAX rose 0.12% to 6569.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.8% to 9119 and the Chinese Hang Seng sold off by 2.6% to 20537.
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