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.

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.