Dow gains but communication-services, consumer-discretionary stocks drag broader market lower

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Dow gains but communication-services, consumer-discretionary stocks drag broader market lower

Pfizer and Mylan announce off-patent drug combination

Stocks traded mixed Monday, at the start of a week that could prove decisive for Wall Street, with a Federal Reserve decision, jobs report and developments in China-U.S. tariff negotiations coming into focus.

How are the major benchmarks faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.24% gained 65 points, 0.2%, at 27,257, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.12% index lost 6 points, or 0.2%, to 3,019, led by a 0.8% decline in the consumer-discretionary sector and a 0.7% in communication services.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.49% fell 58 points, or 0.7%, to 8,272.

On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finished at records.

Read: The last time the S&P 500 boasted as rich a YTD return, Titanic was in theaters

What’s driving the market?

Stocks wavered between modest gains and losses on Monday ahead of face-to-face trade talks between China and the U.S. officials, set to resume on Tuesday in Shanghai, marking the first such meeting on tariffs since President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 gathering in Osaka, Japan.

While investors will be watching closely for signs of progress toward a trade deal, expectations for a breakthrough are low, as there has been few indications that either side is willing to back away from demands that derailed a previous round of negotiations in May.

The talks come as the market is awaiting an almost-certain interest-rate cut from the Federal Reserve and a news conference where Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will brief markets on the health of the U.S. economy and the outlook for policy.

The market is pricing in a nearly 78% chance of a 25-basis-point rate cut based on federal-funds futures trade and a 22% chance of a 50-basis-point reduction to benchmark rates, currently in the 2.25%-2.50% range, according to CME Group data.

“Although we expect the Fed to cut interest rates by 0.25%, the economy’s growth rate in Q2 of 2.1% offers a slim chance that the Fed could delay a rate cut past this week,” wrote Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “Nevertheless, most of the macro indicators suggest modest growth ahead as the job market and consumer spending remain at respectable levels.”

The Fed decision will be followed by a key report on employment that could also offer further guidance on the state of the labor market and the domestic economy.

Beyond, monetary policy and trade talks, the market also was digesting deal news. The London Stock Exchange Group’s was in advanced talks to acquire Refinitiv, a financial data and trading platform provider in a deal valued at $27 billion, while Pfizer IncPFE, -1.88% announced a deal to merge its off-patent drug business with generic drugmaker Mylan IncMYL, +13.79%, which had been reported by the Wall Street Journal over the weekend.

Which stocks are in focus?

Mylan shares rallied 8.1% early Monday after announcing the deal with Pfizer and after the company announced second-quarter adjusted profit and revenue that beat expectations.

Pfizer shares fell 2% following the news, and after the Dow component reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, but revenue that fell short.

Parker-Hannifin CorpPH, -1.03%  announced its acquisition of Exotic Metals Forming Co. Monday, in a deal valued at $1.56 billion. Shares of the industrial and aerospace supply manufacturer fell 1.1% Monday.

Beyond Meat IncBYND, -5.69%  will report earnings after the close of trade Monday, its second earnings announcement since going public in early May. Shares have risen nearly 840% to $234.90 since their debut. Shares were down nearly 4%.

How are other markets trading?

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.59%  fell about 2 basis points to 2.063% early Monday.

In commodities markets, the price of crude oil CLU19, +0.94%  was modestly lower, while gold prices GCQ19, +0.11% edged higher to $1,420 per ounce.

The U.S. dollar index DXY, +0.07%  rose 0.1%, with the British poundGBPUSD, -1.2841% carving out a fresh two-year low at $1.2320.

Asian markets closed mixed overnight Thursday, with China’s CSI 300000300, -0.11%  index fell 0.1%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.19%  falling 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -1.03%  losing 1.1%.