US stocks open lower after German election; Fed speakers eyed


Exxon Mobil and Chevron had the greatest positive impact on the Dow Jones industrial average. Apple was among the stocks with the greatest negative impact on the stock index.

Apple shares briefly fell more than 1 percent, tracking for a fourth straight day of losses. The stock fell 5 percent last week, its worst week in more than a year, after Friday’s launch of the iPhone 8 and some other products in stores.

On Monday, Citi Research predicted lower than expected demand for the iPhone 8 and lowered earnings and sales estimates for Apple. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook shares fell 3 percent. The social media giant dropped a proposal for the social media giant to issue a new class of shares that would have allowed CEO Mark Zuckerberg to keep voting control and fund the company’s philanthropic efforts.

The S&P 500 attempted gains above 2,500. Information technology led decliners, while energy led seven sectors higher. The Nasdaq composite fell more than half a percent. The Dow traded slightly lower after briefly turning positive.

Stocks opened lower after populists gained ground in a Sunday election in Germany and investors weighed the likelihood of another interest rate hike this year.

“I think it’s a little disappointment [on] the German election, just the overall outcome,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. It’s “getting maybe a little spooked. What’s the trend right now in Europe? Is the euro area fracturing a little bit down the line?”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office but her conservative bloc only secured 33 percent of the vote, its lowest share since 1949, according to Reuters. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took 12.6 percent of the vote and will become the first nationalist, right-wing party to enter the German parliament since World War II.

The euro traded lower, but off worst levels, near $1.1886. The German 10-year bund yield fell to 0.41 percent. Major European stocks traded mixed.

U.S. stocks closed within 1 percent of their all-time highs Friday.

New York Fed President Bill Dudley said Monday morning the Fed is on track to gradually raise interest rates, since factors depressing inflation are “fading”. U.S. economic fundamentals are also sound, said Dudley, vice chairman of the Fed’s rate-setting committee.

Treasury yields traded lower as of mid-Monday morning, with the U.S. 2-year yield around 1.42 percent and the 10-year yield near 2.24 percent.

Two other members of the Federal Open Market Committee, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari are scheduled to speak later Monday.

Yields rose last week after the Federal Reserve maintained their forecast for another rate hike this year and three hikes next year.

— Reuters and CNBC’s Peter Schacknow and Matt Clinch contributed to this report.

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