NEW YORK: U.S. stocks were mixed in Monday morning trading amid preparations for President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
European markets got a boost from an Italian official's declaration that the country has no intention of leaving the euro.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24, or 0.1 percent, to 25,297 as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose three points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,782 and the Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,654.
NORTH KOREA TALKS: U.S. and North Korean officials were preparing for a meeting Tuesday between Trump and Kim aimed at settling the standoff over the North's nuclear arsenal. North Korea has reportedly said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But many say Kim's government is unlikely to give up weapons that help guarantee its survival.
TRADE TENSIONS: Trump took more swipes at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, contending that "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal."
Trump roiled the weekend meeting of the Group of Seven major industrial economies by agreeing to a group statement only to rapidly withdraw from it while complaining about Trudeau's criticism of his tariff threats. After leaving Canada, Trump called Trudeau "dishonest" and "weak" on Twitter. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she found Trump's tweet disavowing the G-7 statement "a little depressing."
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The Trump-Kim summit is the massive event that has a far-reaching regional implication. While the markets had low expectations going into G-7, assumptions are running high, so if the talks somehow go sideways, there could be a reasonably aggressive regional risk-off move," said Stephen Innes of currency trader Oanda in a report.
EURO WATCH: Italy's markets jumped higher after the economy minister said the country's new populist government isn't considering leaving the eurozone or adding to the high public debt load. The statement was the strongest yet on the topic from an official in the new government. Markets had fallen sharply last month on concern that the new administration might consider pulling Italy out of the euro eventually or weakening its role in the currency.
ON FIRE: Utility company PG&E dropped $3.06, or 7 percent, to $38.55 after the state of California said a series of wildfires were caused by the company's equipment, which has liability implications for the company.
POSSIBLE BUYOUT: Boston Scientific jumped $2.54, or 8 percent, to $34.49 after The Wall Street Journal reported that that Stryker offered to purchase the medical device company. Stryker shares fell $5.44, or 3 percent, to $173.51.
CENTRAL BANKS: Looking ahead, investors will be keeping an eye on key central bank meetings this week. The Federal Reserve will wrap up a two-day meeting on interest rates on Wednesday. Investors broadly expect the nation's central bank to raise interest rates from their current level of 1.75 percent to 2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 6 cents to $65.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 44 cents to $76.02 per barrel in London.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.