Stocks flat as markets struggle to assess effects of reopening

Stocks flat as markets struggle to assess effects of reopening
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Stock markets closed relatively flat on Monday as investors struggled to digest how restarting some parts of public life will affect the economy in the coming months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 109 points, or 0.5 percent, while the S&P 500 closed less than half a point higher than it did on Friday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, however, ended up gaining 71 points, or 0.8 percent, its sixth consecutive day of increases, as people increasingly turn to technology amid the pandemic.

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Investors are struggling to assess whether plans to reopen the economy are premature, as states still lack sufficient testing and contact tracing systems to keep COVID-19 cases in check.

They are also assessing whether the markets are overly optimistic, and may again bottom out after steep falls in March. 

Meanwhile, the House is working on a fifth coronavirus relief package, and is expected to unveil its blueprint as soon as Tuesday.

The next round of help, however, still needs to be negotiated with the GOP-controlled Senate and White House before it can become law, meaning additional relief efforts are likely still weeks away.