U.S. Stocks Flat as Investors Dither Ahead of Yellen Speech

Oil futures retreat, putting pressure on stocks

by William Watts and Victor Reklaitis
Market Watch

U.S. stocks struggled for direction Monday, erasing small early losses to trade near unchanged as investors await a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen at the end of the week.

The S&P 500 rose 0.48 point to 2,184.35, while the Dow industrials rose 15.61 points, or 0.1%, to 18,568.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 12.73 points, or 0.2%, to 5,251.11. Stocks opened with modest losses in light volume.

Some market bulls are taking a more cautious near-term stance in the wake of a rally that took al three major indexes to all-time highs last week. Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, said the firm’s trading model had called for a short-term trading top heading into last Friday’s option expiration, with the potential for further selling if the S&P 500 breaks below 2,175.

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