Stocks Dip Again Early Monday

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Monday, following back-to-back losses for the Standard & Poor's 500 index over the last two weeks.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 lost 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,423, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,632. The Nasdaq composite fell 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,210.

CALM CALENDAR: The beginning of this week may be slow for markets, with few high-profile events on the schedule. Earnings reporting season is almost over, and roughly 95 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have already said how much they earned during the spring quarter. Few major economic reports are on deck.

A calm week may be welcome, following a second straight, shaky week where the S&P 500 had its biggest one-day loss in three months. Worries about politics, both domestic and international, contributed to the nervousness. The S&P 500 has had two days in the last two weeks where it's dropped by more than 1 percent. It's had only four for the year so far, which is well below typical levels.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: This week's highlight will likely be a mountain gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for central bankers, economists and policy makers. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi are both expected to speak at the symposium, which begins Thursday and is hosted by the Fed's regional bank in Kansas City.

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Tremendous stimulus from central banks has been one of the main reasons for the stock market's surge since the Great Recession. But the Federal Reserve is now slowly raising interest rates and preparing to pare back the vast trove of bonds that it bought following the 2008 financial crisis to shore up the economy. Investors are wondering when the European Central Bank may follow suit.

Jackson Hole has been the site of market-moving news in the past, including in 2010 when former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke signaled the central bank may embark on another round of bond buying to shore up the economy.

KOREA DRILLS: One wild card for markets may lie in Asia, where U.S. and South Korean forces on Monday started their annual joint military exercises. Tensions are higher than usual with North Korea, and Pyongyang in the past has responded to the drills with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Asia, South Korea's Kospi index dipped 0.1 percent, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.4 percent.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 0.5 percent, Germany's DAX lost 0.8 percent and the FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.1 percent.

YIELDS: Treasury yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.19 percent from 2.20 percent late Friday. The two-year yield slipped to 1.30 percent from 1.31 percent, and the 30-year yield held steady at 2.78 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 108.87 Japanese yen from 109.26 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1783 from $1.1760, and the British pound rose to $1.2889 from $1.2876.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 26 cents to $48.40 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 50 cents to $52.22.

Natural gas slipped a penny to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.60 per gallon and wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $2.60 per gallon.

Gold rose $5.50 to $1,297.10 per ounce, silver rose 9 cents to $17.09 per ounce and copper gained 4 cents to $2.98 per pound.

(BE)

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