Stocks: Markets continue shifting lower

August 12, 2013: 8:09 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

It looks like Monday could be another downbeat day in the markets, as investors find little reason to push stocks higher.

U.S. stock futures were all roughly 0.4% weaker, and there was little in the way of corporate or economic news to guide market sentiment.

"The markets are sort of casting around, looking for direction," said Chris Beauchamp, analyst with IG in London.

He said that investors are still holding back because of anxiety over the Federal Reserve's expected slowdown of bond buying activity.

"It's the thing that continues to worry people," said Beauchamp, who believes that tapering won't start until November at least. "I still think that they're not going to move too soon."

The U.S. Treasury Department will release its monthly budgetary statement at 2 p.m. ET.

It's a light day for corporate earnings. American Apparel (APP) and Dillard's (DDS) are slated to report quarterly results after the close of trading.

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The markets have been in a bit of a funk for the past few trading days as a summer malaise sets in. August tends to be a month of light trading volumes and muted market movements.

All the major U.S. stock indexes declined by roughly 1% last week. But even with the loss of momentum, stocks have still gained between 18% and 23% in 2013.

Apple (AAPL) shares rose slightly in premarket trading after the International Trade Commission on Friday banned Samsung from importing or selling several devices that it said infringe on Apple patents.

Related: Wal-Mart earnings, housing in play this week

European markets were lower in midday trading.

There was a bit more excitement in Asian markets.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index and Hang Seng index rallied by just over 2% after a number of well-received economic reports from the past few days.

But Japan's Nikkei lost 0.7% as data showed the pace of the country's economic growth slowed in the second quarter.

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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%
Nasdaq 4,493.39 -12.46 -0.28%
S&P 500 1,972.29 -5.51 -0.28%
Treasuries 2.45 -0.05 -2.15%
Data as of 8:43am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.79 -0.32 -2.12%
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.04 0.24%
eBay Inc 56.63 3.97 7.54%
Apple Inc 100.75 0.64 0.64%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.20 0.79%
Data as of Sep 30