MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Struggles For Direction As Tech Gains, Offset By Slumping Energy, Bank Shares

Analyst: Hawkish central bankers may keep weighing on equities

U.S. stock benchmarks traded slightly lower early Monday, with few catalysts for the day on tap to influence investor sentiment, as Wall Street awaited the kick off second-quarter earnings, with a roster of banks scheduled to report results on Friday.

In the near term, investors also braced for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who will deliver her semiannual monetary-policy report to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 19 points, or about 0.1%, at 21,395, led lower by an early 1.4% slide in shares of Intel Corp.(INTC). The S&P 500 index traded flat at 2,424, as a 0.3% rise in the technology sector was offset by declines in energy and financials, both were down around 0.2%.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 6 points, or 0.1%, at 6,147, as the tech-laden gauge fought to add to its Friday rally following a solid reading of U.S. jobs (

Market participants anticipated volatile trade as investors prepared for earnings, which will be underpin future trading in equities, which have been mostly stuck in narrow--to slightly lower--trading range amid growing doubts bout President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda coming to fruition, and global central bankers hinting at tapering crisis-era, easy-money policies that have supported stock and bond prices for years.

"All of the conversations right now are about earnings. The health-care bill and the tax bill all of that has been put in the back burner as the market moves on to the next catalyst and what maters right now is earnings," said Mike Antonelli, equity sales trader at Robert W Baird & Co., referring to initiatives by Republicans to push through bills to cut corporate taxes and overhaul Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) shares lost a fifth of their value in early trade after the embattled retailer early Monday said it terminated a potential buyout of the company, highlighting the struggles of brick-and-mortar retailers.

Looking ahead Friday, a trio of banks are expected to report quarterly results, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.(JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Citigroup Inc.(C)

Last week, the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended modestly higher. The three gauges have all tacked on 8% or more so far this year, but they're trading below their record peaks hit in June.

Investors are paying attention to whether oil prices can pull out of a slump--and whether the technology sector (XLK) can follow through on Friday's rally.

Read more:Stock market tracking tech rebound, oil slump ahead of big bank earnings (

"Central banks are likely to remain a key focus for investors this week, with the sudden hawkish shift among a number of them in recent weeks pushing bond yields higher and weighing on risk appetite," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

Economic news: A reading on consumer credit is slated to hit at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Individual movers: Shares in Tesla Inc.(TSLA) slid 1% after falling 13% last week (, as the first Model 3 sedan rolled off the electric-car maker's assembly line ( over the weekend. Inc. (AMZN) may be in focus as it is set to launch on Tuesday its "prime day" sales event. Shares of the company were up about 0.8%.

Household chemicals seller WD-40 Co.(WDFC) and IT company Barracuda Networks Inc.(CUDA) are due to report after the market's close.

Other markets: European stocks traded higher, after Asian markets ( mostly closed with gains. Oil futures ( were lower, staying under pressure following last week's selloff.

Gold futures stepped lower, and a key dollar index was inching up.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 10, 2017 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT)