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Wednesday August 4th, 2021 3:08AM

US stocks edge mostly higher, hovering near record highs

By The Associated Press
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Stocks are nudging mostly higher in early trading, putting the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average back near the record highs they reached a month ago. Health care and technology stocks were among the winners in the early going Monday. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% and the Dow was up 0.1%. The Nasdaq was slightly lower, and small-company stocks were outpacing the rest of the market. European markets were trading higher and Asian markets closed mixed overnight. Crude oil prices were little changed and Treasury yields rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.57%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mixed Monday, as initial euphoria about the gains that closed out last week on Wall Street faded.

France's CAC 40 slipped 0.1% in early trading to 6,509.16. Germany's DAX dipped 0.1% to 15,671.17. But Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2% to 7,085.23. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down nearly 0.1% at 34,718.5. S&P 500 futures fell nearly 0.2% to 4,220.12.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to finish at 29,019.24. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains, inching down 0.2% to 7,281.90. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4% to 3,252.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.5% to 28,787.28, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2% to 3,599.54.

While life is increasingly returning to something resembling normalcy in the U.S. and Europe, in Asia the pandemic remains a pressing concern, even as vaccine rollouts gather pace.

China reported its exports rose 28% from a year earlier in May while imports jumped 51%, though the pace of increase is slowing after huge gains early in the year.

Much of the regional economy depends of exports to the West and the retreat of the pandemic there is a boost to countries in Asia still battling severe coronavirus outbreaks.

“Consensus expectations around activity data being released this week in Asia looks strong,” Venkateswaran Lavanya of the Asia & Oceania Treasury Department at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said in a commentary.

“The more pertinent question is now whether we can effectively gauge the extent of the recovery, or a lack thereof, in these economies.”

A U.S. jobs report released Friday showed a substantial but underwhelming increase in hiring. While it was a fresh sign of improvement in the economy, it also alleviated worries over inflation, since employment remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Investors have been worried that price increases might become a long-term issue, rather than a temporary effect from the recovering economy. That might lead the central banks to consider pulling support that has underpinned a massive rally since markets recovered from their pandemic slump in mid-2020.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 44 cents to $69.18 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 81 cents to $69.62 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 49 cents to $71.40 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar stood unchanged at 109.49 Japanese yen. The euro cost $1.2158, down from $1.2165.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
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