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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (AFP) – U.S. stocks Monday moved mostly lower in early trade as investors looked ahead to a smattering of economic reports in a holiday-shortened week.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 5.71 points (0.03 percent) to 16,484.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.58 (0.09 percent) to 1,839.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 11.31 (0.27 percent) to 4,145.29.

With many investors still on holiday, trading volume this week is expected to be light, creating conditions for possible volatility. Markets are open all week, except for New Year’s Day on Wednesday.

Investors are watching for Monday’s report on pending home sales and other economic releases later in the week on consumer confidence, home prices and a few other indicators.

The Dow and S&P 500 last week pushed to new highs on three successive sessions before declining slightly on Friday. The S&P 500 is up more than 29 percent on the year.

Cooper Tire & Rubber fell 3.1 percent after announcing it had ended a proposed merger with India’s Apollo Tyres. The deal, announced in June, became bogged down in legal sniping related to labor problems within Cooper’s U.S. and Chinese operations.

Footwear maker Crocs gained 12.7 percent after announcing that Blackstone Group is investing $200 million in the company and taking a 13 percent stake. Crocs plans a $350 million stock repurchase program.

Dow component the Walt Disney Company rose 2.6 percent following a strong performance of its film “Frozen” over the important holiday weekend.

Banking giant Wells Fargo was unchanged after announcing a $591 million settlement with state-controlled mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae to resolve claims it sold defective loans prior to 2009.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year bond slipped to 2.99 percent from 3.01 percent Friday, while the 30-year fell to 3.92 percent from 3.94 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

What makes Trump supporters so loyal to a president who is wrecking the country and the world is one of the great mysteries of our time. And the latest political scientist to ponder this problem is Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, whose obscene, cigar-chomping wisecracks you may recall from his many appearances on Saturday Night Live.

Now working as a "correspondent" for Stephen Colbert's Late Show, Triumph recently convened a focus group of real live Trump supporters to discuss current issues, such as the dismantling of Confederate statues and unemployment. The group watched some fictional Trump-Pence campaign ads to gauge their reaction to potentially extreme proposals by their idol.

Even Triumph, who always presumes human stupidity, was exasperated by their answers.

It's uproariously funny, the way only a gang of mindless Trumpists can be.