U.S. stocks struggle for direction in early trade, following powerful Friday rally

Most U.S. stock indexes traded lower Monday morning as investors watched developments in trade, following upbeat news on Friday from the labor market and the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.36% shed 37 points, or 0.2%, at 23,388, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.10% gave up 0.1% at 2,530, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.26% rose 0.2% at 6,752. Markets closed up Friday on the back of a strong U.S. jobs report, which showed that 312,000 jobs were created in December. Comments from Fed chairman Jerome Powell also helped to lift buying appetite on Wall Street, as the central banker emphasized a go-slow approach to policy normalization that markets have thus far reacted adversely toward. The U.S. and China were engaged in discussion about resolving their trade differences but no substantial progress was seen being made yet. On the corporate front, Eli Lilly & Co. LLY, -1.13% said would buy Loxo Oncology Inc. LOXO, +66.35%

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