RTTNews - After moving modestly higher over the course of the previous week, stocks are likely to give back some ground in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently indicating a notably lower open, with the Dow futures down 95 points.
Profit taking is likely to contribute to any early weakness in the markets, with traders likely to cash in on the recent gains amid some uncertainty about the outlook for the economy and whether stocks have come too far too fast.
Resource stocks may help to lead the way lower in early trading amid a pullback by commodities prices, which are moving further off their recent highs.
Some negative sentiment has been generated by a report from the New York Federal Reserve showing a continued deterioration in conditions for New York manufacturers in the month of June, with the index of activity in the sector falling by much more than expected.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to a negative 9.4 in June from a negative 4.55 in May, with a negative reading indicating a deterioration in conditions. Economists had expected the index to edge down to a negative 5.10.
Later in the day, trading could be impacted by the release of the National Association of Home Builders' report on homebuilder confidence in the month of June. The housing market index is expected to edge up to 17.0 from a reading of 16.0 in May.
In other news, shares of Cemex (CX) may be in focus after the building materials supplier said it has reached an agreement to sell its Australian operations to Switzerland-based building materials group Holcim Group for about 2.02 billion Australian dollars.
The sale, which also includes Cemex's 25 percent stake in Cement Australia, is part of the company's efforts to save costs and reduce debt.
Nonetheless, overall volume is likely to remain subdued amid a relative lack of significant news. A number of traders have moved to the sidelines ahead of the usual calm of the summer season.
Crude oil futures are currently receding $0.76 to $71.28 a barrel after rising $3.60 or 5.3 percent to $72.04 a barrel in the week ended June 12th. The price of oil reached a nearly eight-month high of $73.23 a barrel last Thursday before giving back some ground.
The price of gold is also under pressure, with gold futures falling $6.70 to $934 an ounce. Last week, the precious metal fell $21.90 or 2.3 percent to $940.70 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar saw modest last week, falling 0.2 percent against the yen to 98.435 yen and slipping 0.3 percent after the euro before ending the week at $1.4016. Currently, the U.S. dollar is trading 98.199 yen and is valued at $1.3865 versus a euro.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia Pacific region ended Monday's trading mostly lower, as traders cashed in on recent strength. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended the day down nearly 1 percent.
The major European markets are also moving to the downside, with the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index receding 1.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down 1.7 percent. Resource stocks are responsible for much of the weakness.
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