Wall Street opens higher, Dow hits another record

The blue chip index closed higher for a tenth straight day Monday. Apple and Facebook boosted the S&P and Nasdaq.
The Dow closed at a record high for the eighth straight session on Friday (Aug 4).
The Dow closed at a record high for the eighth straight session on Friday (Aug 4).PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The Dow hit another record high and the Nasdaq opened slightly higher on Monday (Aug 7), while the S&P was little changed.

The Dow closed at a record high for the eighth straight session last Friday, powered by a robust July employment report that showed US employers added more jobs than expected in the month.

The report is likely to clear the way for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start shrinking its US$4.2 trillion (S$5.71 trillion) bond portfolio in September, and could strengthen its case to raise rates for the third time this year in December.

"The jobs report was quite well-received on Friday despite suffering the same pitfall that has plagued the US recovery for years, inadequate wage growth," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at online forex broker Oanda.

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At 9:36 a.m. ET (9:36 p.m. Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.3 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 22,084.51, the S&P 500 was down 0.42 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 2,476.41. The Nasdaq Composite was up 9.36 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,360.92.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy index's 0.49 per cent fall leading the decliners.

Oil prices edged lower, sliding away from nine-week highs, as worries lingered over high production from Opec and the United States.

Meanwhile, investors will continue to closely track the second-quarter earnings season to see if pricey valuations are justified. Analysts, on average, expect S&P 500 earnings to have grown 12 per cent in the second quarter and they project earnings up 9.3 per cent for the September quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The S&P is trading at 18 times expected earnings, compared to its 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,345 to 1,091. On the Nasdaq, 1,155 issues rose and 1,115 fell.