Markets Right Now: US indexes drift in midday trade

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

11:45 a.m.

Stocks are little changed as technology and basic materials companies rise but energy and bank stocks fall.

European markets fell Monday after the British government said it will begin the process of departing the European Union next week.

Energy companies fell along with the price of crude. Drilling rig operator Transocean slid 2.8 percent.

Watchmaker Movado Group fell 2.5 percent after its fourth-quarter results fell short of forecasts.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was flat at 2,377.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35 points to 20,949. The Nasdaq composite edged up 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,908.

More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.48 percent.

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9:40 a.m.

U.S. stocks are opening slightly lower, led by losses in banks after Britain announced it will formally trigger the process of leaving the European Union on March 29.

Britain's departure from the EU will start a long negotiation with uncertain effects for banks and other companies. It is expected to become official in early 2019.

Major indexes in Europe are also lower Monday.

Energy companies are falling as the price of U.S. crude slips about 1 percent. Drilling rig operator Transocean slid 3.8 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,374.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 5 points to 20,909. The Nasdaq composite dipped 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,896.