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Markets Right Now: Slight losses for stocks in quiet trade

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

Stocks closed slightly lower after a day of wavering between small gains and losses.

Many traders were waiting on the sidelines Monday for more clues about what the Federal Reserve might to at its next policy meeting in June. Last week many were surprised to hear that policymakers may be closer to raising interest rates than previously believed.

Monsanto jumped 4 per cent after the German drug and chemical maker Bayer offered to buy the agricultural products company for $62 billion.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 8 points to 17,492. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,048. The Nasdaq composite lost three points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,765.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.83 per cent.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks indexes are wavering in midday trading, while energy stocks fall along with the price of crude oil.

Exxon Mobil fell 1 per cent Monday, one of the biggest declines in the Dow Jones industrial average.

The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 1 per cent to just under $48 a barrel in New York.

In deal news, Monsanto jumped 5 per cent after the German drug and chemical maker Bayer offered to buy the company for $62 billion.

The Dow was up 10 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 17,509. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down a point at 2,050. The Nasdaq composite edged up 5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,775.

Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.85 per cent.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks indexes are wavering in early trading, while energy stocks fall along with the price of crude oil.

Exxon Mobil fell 1 per cent in early trading Monday, one of the biggest declines in the Dow Jones industrial average.

The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 2 per cent to $47 a barrel in New York.

In deal news, Monsanto jumped 6 per cent after the German drug and chemical maker Bayer offered to buy the company for $62 billion.

The Dow was up 10 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 17,509. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up a fraction at 2,052. The Nasdaq composite climbed edged up 14 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4,787.

Bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.84 per cent.

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10:30 a.m.

European stock markets are largely trading in narrow ranges as further evidence emerged of an economic slowdown across the 19-country eurozone.

Financial information company Markit said Monday that its initial reading of the composite purchasing managers’ index — a broad gauge of business activity across the services and manufacturing sectors — fell to a 16-month low of 52.9 points in May from April’s 53.0. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Stephen Brown, European economist at Capital Economics, says the small monthly fall adds to the evidence that second-quarter growth is “unlikely to repeat” the first-quarter’s strong 0.5 per cent gain.

That kept a lid on Europe’s main markets, with Germany’s DAX up 0.4 per cent at 9,959 while France’s CAC-40 fell 0.1 per cent to 4,350. Britain’s FTSE 100 index was flat at 6,156.