U.S. stocks dip at open ahead of consumer data

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of Sept 28, 2015.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of Sept 28, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks dipped in early trade Tuesday ahead of a closely watched reading on US consumer confidence.

About 25 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 15,973.77, down 28.12 points (0.18 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.90 (0.05 per cent) to 1,880.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 12.00 (0.26 per cent) to 4,531.61.

The Dow and S&P 500 opened higher, but then dropped into negative territory. Analysts said US stocks could benefit from bargain hunting after the S&P 500 plunged 2.6 per cent Monday on worries about slowing global growth.

Key data releases this week include the Conference Board's index of consumer conference for September later Tuesday and, on Friday, the US jobs report for the same month.

Yahoo jumped 4.4 per cent on news it will continue to seek a sale of its Alibaba holdings. The technology company said it would pursue the transaction despite not getting a guarantee that US tax officials would permit the transaction to qualify as tax-free.

Tobacco giant Reynolds American rose 2.0 per cent on news it will sell international rights for its Natural American Spirit brand to Japan Tobacco Group for about US$5 billion.

Dow member McDonald's rose 1.6 per cent following an upgrade from Credit Suisse, which said the fast-food giant's sales outlook is starting to improve after a run of disappointing results. Bond prices rose.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.08 per cent from 2.10 per cent Monday, while the 30-year dipped to 2.87 per cent from 2.88 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.