U.S. stocks surge in opening trade, Dow up 2%

Traders shouting out their orders as they work in the S&P 500 options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. US Dow Jones industrial average was up 2% at open on Wednesday. PHOTO: EPA
Traders shouting out their orders as they work in the S&P 500 options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. US Dow Jones industrial average was up 2% at open on Wednesday. PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street equities jumped in opening trade Wednesday as investors tried to snap a six-day losing streak prompted by turmoil in the Chinese stock market.

About 20 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 15,985.73, up 319.29 points (2.04 per cent). The broad-based S&P 500 rose 39.09 (2.09 per cent) to 1,906.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 105.82 (2.35 per cent) at 4,612.30.

The buoyant start in the US recalled Tuesday's confident open, which evaporated in the last hour, pushing the S&P 500 down 1.35 percent. Global markets were mixed Wednesday, with European stocks near flat and Japan's Nikkei rising 3.20 percent.

The Shanghai index fell 1.27 per cent as monetary stimulus by the Chinese central bank failed to prompt a turnaround. US data showed new orders for durable manufactured goods rose solidly in July.

Schlumberger announced a US$14.8 billion acquisition of oilfield equipment maker Cameron, the latest big transaction as oil prices linger near six and half year lows. Cameron rocketed 44.6 per cent higher, while Schlumberger fell 2.4 per cent.

The Schlumberger transaction "should ignite some bargain-hunting interest in the energy sector," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare. O'Hare said Wednesday's open was impressive, but added, "it's not how you start, but how you finish."