Wall Street opens lower as energy shares drag

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US stocks were lower on Monday as crude prices slipped after a much anticipated meeting of oil producers failed to result in a deal to freeze production.

Crude was down about 3 per cent after the failed talks in Doha renewed fears of an escalating battle for market share among the major producing countries and add to the stubborn global surplus.

"This is definitely negative news for the energy sector, but it seems the index can still hang on there," said Ren Zhiwei, managing director and portfolio manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management.

Mr Ren said the losses in oil were moderate despite the collapse of the talks because bullish positions had been reduced heading into the weekend.

A rebound in oil and signs that the U.S. economy was recovering had helped stocks rally from a steep selloff at the start of the year. The S&P 500 is now up about 1 per cent in 2016, after falling as much as 10.5 per cent earlier in the year.

While macroeconomic and geopolitical factors continue to weigh on markets, focus now turns to US earnings reports as investors look for the impact of the global turmoil on financial markets and the slump in commodities on balance sheets.

At 9.37am ET (9.37pm Singapore time) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 38.25 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 17,859.21, the S&P 500 was down 5.86 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 2,074.87 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 18.25 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 4,919.96.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.21 per cent fall in energy. Shares of Chevron were down 1 per cent, while Exxon shed half a per cent.