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US open: Stocks drop in and out of the red at the bell

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Monday 15 Jul 2019

US open: Stocks drop in and out of the red at the bell

(Sharecast News) - Stocks on Wall Street opened broadly flat on Monday after surging to new highs during the previous week after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell hinted that an interest rate cut could be on the horizon.
As of 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.03% at 27,339.50, while the S&P 500 was 0.02% firmer at 3,014.38 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 0.06% higher at 8,249.14.

The Dow was just 7.47 points firmer in early trade, dipping in and out of the red, after closing above 27,000 for the first time on Thursday and with Friday's gain bringing its advance for the week to 1.5%.

In the background, market participants had an eye firmly fixed on developments in Washington's ongoing trade war with Beijing after Reuters revealed on Sunday that the US was looking to push through the approval of licenses to allow companies to start trading with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei within two to four weeks.

With China in mind, figures released overnight showed that economic growth in the Asian giant slowed to a year-on-year pace of 6.2% during the second quarter, the slowest clip since 1992.

Still on the geopolitical front, participants were also digesting news that Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stated that Tehran is ready to hold talks with the White House if Washington lifts sanctions against it and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Elsewhere, according to NBC News, Donald Trump has told aides that he was contemplating removing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after he backed down from adding a contentious question on citizenship to the 2020 census.

In other economic news, factory sector activity in the New York area picked up a tad more quickly than expected in July, following a sharp drop during the previous month, according to the results of a closely-followed survey.

The Federal Reserve bank of New York's manufacturing sector index improved from a reading of -8.6 for the month of June to 4.3 in July, beating economists' forecasts for a reading of 2.0.

Between May June, the index had fallen from 17.8 to -8.6.

On the corporate front, Callon shares slid after announcing it would acquire Carrizo Oil and Gas in an all stock deal, while OganiGram shares jumped despite the company swinging to a loss.

Citigroup shares opened 0.24% softer despite topping analysts' expectations, while Symantec shares dived 14% after CNBC revealed the group had abandoned negotiations with Broadcom.

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