U.S. equities have remained underwater
U.S. equities have remained underwater amid cross-currents from the swings on crude oil ahead of the OPEC meeting later in the week and the slide in Italian banking shares that pulled down the Italian MIB 1.8% and the Euro Stoxx 50 1% on the day. WTI crude ramped up 2.5% to clear $47 bbl after Iraq's oil minister expressed optimism about a deal later in the week. The major U.S. indices are still 0.2-0.4% lower, paced by the S&P 500, which is knocking on the door of the 2.2k level again, having stretched as high as 2,213 on Friday. The VIX equity volatility index is 6.6% firmer near 13.16 with the downdraft, but in a tight 13.50-13.02 range. Deepest decliners in the Dow are UnitedHealth -1.7%, NIKE -1.5% and CAT -1.2%, while top performers are Verizon +0.6%, IBM +0.5% and Microsoft +0.5%. The dollar index has turned sideways near 101.50, while Treasury yields are consolidating above lows.