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NEW YORK: The S&P 500 was trading largely flat on Monday as gains in Tesla were offset by declines in bank and energy shares, ahead of the first face-to-face peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in more than two weeks.

The electric-car maker jumped 5.3% after saying that it will seek investor approval to increase its number of shares to enable a stock split.

Oil majors Exxon and Chevron fell 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively, after crude prices tumbled more 7% as fears over weaker fuel demand in China grew amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors declined.

Strong economic data and gains in beaten-down growth stocks have powered Wall Street’s main indexes in the recent days, despite the Russia-Ukraine conflict and hawkish comments from Federal Reserve policymakers.

“The two factors - change in Fed policy outlook and the Ukraine war - got priced into the market and there was some level of certainty produced, particularly by the Fed meeting that resulted in a pretty significant rally,” said Jay Hatfield, chief investment officer at Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.

“It’s also important to note that we’re headed into earnings season. And normally the market is weak when we’re outside of earnings season, and strong when we’re entering.” Banks declined 1.8% after a recent run-up on expectations that the Fed could push harder and faster to tame inflation running at four-decade highs, pushing the benchmark 10-year yield to above 2.5%.

One measure of the US bond yield curve - the gap between five and 30-year Treasury yields - inverted for the first time since 2006 signaling rising concerns over economic growth .

At 10:24 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 109.93 points, or 0.32%, at 34,751.31, the S&P 500 was down 1.47 points, or 0.03%, at 4,541.59, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 29.92 points, or 0.21%, at 14,199.22.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia said their delegations would arrive in Turkey for peace talks that are expected to take place on Tuesday.

Apple Inc slipped 0.3% after a report that the company was planning to cut iPhone and AirPod output as rising inflation starts to weigh on demand for consumer electronics.

Poly soared 50.1% after HP Inc said it would buy the audio and video products maker for $1.7 billion in cash. Shares of HP declined 5.4%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.49-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.58-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 43 new lows.

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