US Stocks Open Higher but Struggling for Direction

US Stocks Open Higher but Struggling for Direction

16 May 2016, 16:31
Roberto Jacobs

US Stocks Open Higher but Struggling for Direction

Major stock indices in the US opened slightly higher on Monday after a reading of New York-area manufacturing conditions failed to boost investor sentiment.

The Empire State manufacturing Index for May nose-dived to a negative reading of 9, from positive 9.6 in April. Moreover, weaker economic data from China, released over the weekend also weighed on investor sentiment.

At the time of writing, the S&P 500 was up 8 point to 2055 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 80 point at open to trade at 17,615. Meanwhile, tech heavy Nasdaq Composite began the session with nearly 0.5% gain or 22 points, at 4740.

After closing sharply lower on Friday, for third consecutive week, the indices struggled for direction at the beginning after Chinese economic data continued to point towards broad based economic slowdown in the world's second largest economy. The negative sentiment across Chinese economic data overshadowed firmness in crude oil prices. However, notable M&A news of Pfizer Inc.’s proposed purchase of Anacor Pharmaceuticals provided some boost to the market.

Markets this week will remain focused on the minutes of the Federal Reserve's April policy meeting, scheduled for release on Wednesday. With anxiousness among investors over the prospects of a Fed rate-hike in June, markets might display further signs of exhaustion at higher levels.


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