Stocks have shown a lack of direction over the course of morning trading on Monday after trending higher over the past few sessions. The major averages have spent the morning lingering close to the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Dow is down 34.13 points or 0.1 percent at 27,980.93, the Nasdaq is up 9.09 points or 0.1 percent at 8,665.62 and the S&P 500 is up 0.70 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 3,146.61.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, although traders are still likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for rates.
A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of reports on retail sales and consumer and producer prices in the coming days.
Traders are also exhibiting some caution amid lingering uncertainty about U.S.-China trade talks, as new 15 percent tariffs on $165 billion worth of Chinese imports are currently still set to take effect this coming Sunday.
The new round of tariffs could throw a wrench in negotiations over a phase on trade deal, which is reportedly being held up in part by a dispute over how much to roll back existing tariffs.
Rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are also on the minds of traders after North Korea conducted a "very important test" at a long-range missile launch site.
President Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he acts in a hostile way, leading a North Korean official to describe the president as a "heedless and erratic old man."
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in morning trading, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Steel stocks have shown a notable move to the upside, however, with the NYSE Arca Steel Index climbing by 1.2 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved modestly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index inched up by 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.4 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are regaining some ground following recent weakness. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.8 basis points at 1.824 percent.