After an early move to the upside, stocks have given back some ground over the course of the trading session on Monday. The major averages have pulled back off their highs of the session but remain in positive territory.
Currently, the major averages are holding on to moderate gains. The Dow is up 119.79 points or 0.5 percent at 24,950.96, the Nasdaq is up 30.48 points or 0.4 percent at 7,433.37 and the S&P 500 is up 8.07 points or 0.3 percent at 2,735.79.
The early strength on Wall Street came amid easing trade tensions ahead of a second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China this week.
Ahead of the meeting, President Donald Trump indicated in a post on Twitter that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp. "back into , fast."
ZTE has been crippled by a ban on U.S. supplies to its business, and sources briefed on the matter told Reuters that China has demanded the issue be resolved as a prerequisite for broader trade negotiations.
In a subsequent tweet, Trump expressed optimism about trade talks with China despite claiming past negotiations have been one-sided in favor of Beijing.
"China and the United States are working well together on trade, but past negotiations have been so one sided in favor of China, for so many years, that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries," Trump tweeted. "But be cool, it will all work out!"
Buying interest waned over the course of the morning, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Reports on retail sales, homebuilder confidence, housing starts, and industrial production are likely to attract attention in the coming days.
Many of the major sectors have pulled back off their best levels, although significant strength remains visible among semiconductor stocks. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is up by 1.5 percent after reaching its best intraday level in well over a month.
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) is posting standout gain after a report from Bloomberg said Chinese regulators have restarted their review of Qualcomm's (QCOM) application to acquire the chipmaker.
Energy stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, moving higher along with the price of crude oil. Crude for June delivery is climbing $0.48 to $71.18 a barrel.
Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 1.4 percent, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.2 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.1 percent.
Biotechnology and telecom stocks also continue to see some strength in mid-day trading, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.
In overseas trading, stock across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shot up by 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets saw modest weakness on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the downside after ending last Friday's trading nearly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.2 basis points at 2.993 percent.
by P2PNews Staff Writer