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Wall Street opens modestly lower amid dismal market mood

  • Falling crude oil prices continue to weigh on energy shares.
  • Defensive sectors stay in positive territory in early trade.
  • CBOE Volatility Index rises more than 6% on Monday.

Wall Street's main indexes started the week on the back foot as investors opt out to stay away from risk-sensitive assets. Reflecting the sour market mood, the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's fear gauge, is up 6.15% on the day.

As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 were both down 0.05% on the day and the Nasdaq Composite was flat near 9,400 points. Boeing shares are up 1% to lead the winners in the DJIA while Exxon is the worst performer with a loss of 0.77%.

Defensive shares find demand

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the Energy Index is down nearly 1% on the day pressured by the falling crude oil prices. At the moment, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading a little below the $50 mark, erasing 0.8% on a daily basis. On the other hand, the defensive Real Estate and Utilities indexes are registering small daily gains. 

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