Wall Street edges up at open ahead of Trump's budget plan

US stocks rose slightly at the opening of the markets as Wall Street gears up for US President Donald Trump's budget unveiling.
US stocks rose slightly at the opening of the markets as Wall Street gears up for US President Donald Trump's budget unveiling.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - US stocks were slightly higher on Tuesday ahead of US President Donald Trump's first full budget plan that is aimed at slashing government spending and trimming the deficit.

Mr Trump is set to propose a raft of politically sensitive cuts, including to healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor, with the aim of chopping government spending by US$3.6 trillion (S$4.9 trillion) and balancing the budget over the next decade.

Congress holds the federal purse strings and often ignores presidential budgets, which are proposals and may not take effect in its current form.

"In the US all eyes are on Trump's budget proposal. The budget will not pass in its current state, but people will keep an eye on any sort of indication of corporate tax reform as well as infrastructure spending," said Nadia Lovell, US Equity Strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (9:37 p.m. Singapore time) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 33.62 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 20,928.45, the S&P 500 was up 2.72 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 2,396.74 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 6.75 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 6,140.37.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the health index's and technology sector's 0.23 percent rise leading the advancers.

US futures slipped slightly on Monday evening, before recovering, on news of the suicide attack that killed at least 22 people and wounded 59 at a pop concert in the English city of Manchester.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,701 to 819. On the Nasdaq, 1,150 issues rose and 1,066 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 28 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 18 new lows.