Wall Street opens higher, recouping some post-Fed losses

A file picture of traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City.  PHOTO: AFP
A file picture of traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, recovering some of their big losses last week when the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates near zero raised concerns about the health of the global economy.

Investors will be looking for hints on when the Fed may finally raise rates when a number of central bank officials including Chair Janet Yellen, appear in public this week.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the Fed's policy-making committee, speaks on Monday.

"We had a pretty dramatic selloff on Friday and it's normal to see some gains after that," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

Friday's selloff was exacerbated by "quadruple-witching", when options on stocks and indexes and futures on indexes and single-stocks all expire. "I think we might see some volatility this week as investors peruse statements from the Fed officials as they look for more clarity and signals," Mr Frederick said.

Investors are now focusing on the next Fed meeting on Oct. 27-28, though a growing number of economists now wonder whether the Fed will raise rates at all this year.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Monday there is a powerful case to be made for a rate hike, which he said could come in October. Mr Bullard is a non-voting member of the Fed.

Oil prices rose by more than 2 per cent on Monday after data showed U.S. drilling slowed.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (9.38 pm Singapore time) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 105.43 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 16,490.01, the S&P 500 was up 11.19 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 1,969.22 and the Nasdaq composite was up 26.64 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 4,853.87.

All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the financial index's 1.26 per cent rise leading the advancers.

Apple's 0.5 per cent rise gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

U.S. data scheduled to be released on Monday includes existing home sales for August, which are expected to have dropped 1.3 per cent after rising to an eight-year high in July.

Shares of GoPro were down 5.1 per cent at US$33.36 (S$46.63) after Barron's said the video camera maker's shares could plunge to US$25 as its latest product launch underwhelmed customers amid increasing competition.

Chipmaker Atmel jumped 12.8 per cent to $8.19, a day after Dialog Semiconductor said it had agreed to buy the company for about $4.6 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,996 to 651. On the Nasdaq, 1,655 issues rose and 707 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week high and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and nine new lows.