U.S. Stocks Mixed as Investors Mull Trade, Economic Concerns

A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

U.S. stocks were mixed in early trading on Monday as investors pulled back a bit amid worries about the trade war and economic growth.

Health care, communications and bank stocks dipped, with health insurer UnitedHealth falling 1.4% and AT&T shedding 1%.

Higher bond prices pushed down yields on 10-year Treasury notes to 1.68% from 1.75% late Friday. The lower yields weighed on bank stocks. Banks rely on bond yields to set lucrative interest rates on loans.

Makers of consumer products, including Procter & Gamble and Pepsico, made gains in the early going. Utilities swung between small gains and losses. Investors typically shift to both those sectors and bonds when they are seeking safer places to put their money amid worries about economic growth.

Technology stocks also held up well and helped offset some of the health care and bank declines. Apple did most of the heavy lifting with a 0.5% gain, though chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.4%.

Investors are preparing for the start of the next round of corporate earnings and several key companies this week could provide a clearer picture of the U.S.-China trade war’s ongoing impact. Nike, which could be a gauge of the trade war’s effect on shoemakers and retailers, will report fiscal first quarter results on Tuesday. Technology company Micron will report its fiscal fourth quarter results on Thursday.