Monday, May 1, 2017

Wall St opens higher after govt shutdown averted

Wall Street opened higher on Monday, led by technology and financial stocks, after U.S. Congress negotiators averted a government shutdown later this week by hammering out a federal funding deal late on Sunday.

The House of Representatives and Senate must approve the deal before the end of Friday, as must President Donald Trump, to keep the government funded through the end of Sept. 30.

"We have some renewed optimism that the market strength will continue helped by strong earnings and as a government shutdown was averted," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

"We're also coming off a weak trading session on Friday, and investors are keeping an eye on the jobs report later this week."

At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.15 points, or 0.06 percent, at 20,953.66.

The S&P 500 was up 4.3 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,388.5 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 21.15 points, or 0.35 percent, at 6,068.76.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by identical gains of 0.35 percent in the financial and technology indexes.

Apple's 1.1 percent rise boosted all three indexes.

Trading volume is expected to be light, with many markets in Asia and Europe closed for Labor Day, but will pick up through the week as major earnings reports and economic data pour in.

A data-heavy week will culminate with the monthly jobs report on Friday. The Federal Reserve's two-day meeting that starts on Tuesday could shed policymakers' insights into weak first-quarter economic growth.

U.S. consumer spending was unchanged in March for a second straight month and the overall monthly inflation rate fell for the first time in a year. But, inflation-adjusted consumer spending increased after two straight months of decline.

Stocks edged lower on Friday due to the weak GDP data, but Wall Street's major indexes ended with gains for April, helped by strong quarterly earnings.

Overall, profit at S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 13.6 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Caterpillar were up 0.66 percent at $102.92. Barron's said the stock could rise another 20 percent over the next year, helped by Trump's policies.

Dish Network fell 2.22 percent to $63.01 after the satellite TV provider's quarterly revenue missed expectations.

Tribune Media jumped 8.9 percent to $39.82 after Reuters reported Twenty-First Century Fox is in talks with Blackstone to buy the television station operator. Fox shares were down 0.13 percent at $30.50.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,663 to 857. On the Nasdaq, 1,447 issues rose and 747 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 17 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 40 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)