Asia Morning: US Stocks Mixed, Biotech Sector Leads

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR +9.2%), Cardinal Health (CAH +6.7%), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX +5.0%) and Gilead Sciences (GILD +4.3%) were top gainers...

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On Monday major U.S. stock indexes closed mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 109 points (-0.5%) to 24,222, the S&P 500 was little changed at 2,930, while the Nasdaq 100 rose 78 points (+0.9%) to 9,298.

Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView

Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences (+2.27%), Technology Hardware & Equipment (+1%) and Health Care Equipment & Services (+0.92%) sectors performed the best, while Banks (-3.68%), Automobiles & Components (-3.22%) and Consumer Services (-1.89%) sectors lagged behind. 

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR +9.2%), Cardinal Health (CAH +6.7%), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX +5.0%) and Gilead Sciences (GILD +4.3%) were top gainers.

On the other hand, Under Armour (UAA -9.7%), Alliance Data Systems (ADS -8.8%), Coty (COTY -8.1%) and Mosaic (MOS -5.8%) lost the most.

On the technical side, about 29.8% (25.2% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 74.9% (57.2% in the prior session) were above their 20-day moving average.

Later today, April U.S. Consumer Price Index (-0.8% on month expected), government monthly budget balance (deficit of 737.0 billion dollars expected), and the National Federation of Independent Business's Small Business Optimism Index (84.0 expected) will be reported.

European stocks looked tired, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipping 0.4%. Germany's DAX fell 0.7%, France's CAC dropped 1.3%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was little changed.

U.S. Treasury prices eased further as investors expected an increasing supply of Treasuries. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield advanced 4.5 basis points to 0.724%.

Spot gold price declined 4 dollars to $1,695 an ounce as U.S. dollar firmed up.

U.S. WTI crude oil futures (June) fell 2.4% to $24.14 a barrel, and Brent crude oil futures were down 4.3% to $29.63 a barrel. 

On the forex front, the U.S. dollar strengthened against other major currencies. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index regained the key 100 level as it jumped 1.1% to 100.23.

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