Stocks open weakly but are still headed for a monthly gain

Stocks are mostly lower on Wall Street Monday morning as the market gave back some of its recent gains from a five-week winning streak.

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in the early going, with losses in financial, health care and household goods companies outweighing gains in technology stocks. The benchmark index is slightly below its all-time high set Friday after seven straight days of gains. It’s now on track to end August with its fifth monthly gain in a row and its biggest since April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 200 points, or 0.7%, to 28,452. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%, adding to its market-leading gains this year. The index is up more than 30% this year thanks to outsize gains by big technology stocks. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks was down 0.8%.

Monday was the first day of trading in the Dow since the 30-company average had its lineup of companies revamped. Salesforce.com, Amgen and Honeywell International are replacing Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Raytheon Technologies. The shuffle was triggered by a 4-for-1 stock split in Dow member Apple. Tesla also had a 5-for-1 stock split that took effect Monday.

Apple was up 2.3% and Tesla rose 3.5%.

Markets in Europe were mostly lower. The FTSE 100 in London was flat, while Frankfurt’s DAX slipped 0.4% and the CAC 40 in France fell 0.6%.

Low interest rates and massive amounts of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve have helped prop up the economy, and they’re a central reason the S&P 500 has been able to recover from its nearly 34% plunge earlier this year, even though the pandemic is still raging.

Still, investors want to see Congress also deliver more support for the economy. Weekly benefits that it approved earlier for unemployed workers have run out, and investors say the economy desperately needs another lifeline from Capitol Hill to carry it through its current weakness.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was little changed at 0.72%.

Oil prices were headed higher. Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 0.5% to $43.19 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 0.5% at $46.07 per barrel.

Asian markets closed broadly lower except for Japan, where the market got a boost by gains for five major trading companies after investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced it bought stakes of just over 5% in those companies. Gains in Japanese factory output also helped lift sentiment.