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Major U.S. stock indexes were mixed at midday on Monday as investors reacted to news impacting several notable companies. The S&P 500 index was down 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%.

The biggest laggard in the S&P 500 was aluminum producer Alcoa, whose shares fell 5% by midday after the company announced a change in leadership. Alcoa said executive vice president William Oplinger would take over as CEO and president, succeeding Roy Harvey. Oplinger also joined Alcoa’s board of directors. The leadership change comes as Alcoa deals with higher costs and slowing demand.

Also weighing on stocks was Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio, whose U.S.-listed shares dipped 1% after denying reports it was looking to raise capital. Nio said it currently has no capital raising activity to announce, which worried investors ([2]). Rival Chinese EV company Li Auto saw its U.S. shares fall 9% following news of increased competition. Telecom giant Huawei revealed two new EVs at its launch event, partnering with an auto manufacturer to sell vehicles under the Aito brand.

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The declines in EV stocks come amid broader economic concerns in China. A central bank official said Sunday that China has little room left to relax monetary policy, adding that major reforms are needed instead. This outlook weighed on U.S. shares of major Chinese companies like e-commerce giant, which fell 2% by midday.

However, some stocks saw gains from positive analyst actions. Home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma jumped 9% after an SEC filing revealed that investment firm Leonard Green & Partners has taken a 5% passive stake in the company.

Additionally, Dow Inc. rose 2% following an upgrade to overweight from JPMorgan, which cited potential benefits from higher oil prices ([6]). Sealed Air Corp gained 2.7% after Citi upgraded the stock to buy based on discounted valuation and earnings potential.

On the downside, real estate company Opendoor Technologies fell nearly 6% after Citi cut its price target, worried about low inventory. Chefs’ Warehouse and Hudson Technologies moved higher following bullish initiations from Wall Street analysts.

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The uneven trading shows investors remain cautious amid high inflation and recession worries. Earlier this month, stocks rallied from June lows as some data suggested inflation may have peaked. However, energy and food prices remain stubbornly high.

Traders are looking ahead to Tuesday’s consumer confidence report for the latest economic readout. More hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials have reinforced expectations for another large interest rate hike at the September policy meeting.

With uncertainty lingering, volatility remains elevated across markets. The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, climbed above 25, reflecting anxiety among investors ([11]). Treasury yields moved slightly higher after sharp swings last week. The 10-year yield hovered around 3.45%.

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