U.S. Stocks Edge Higher

By Akane Otani Features Dow Jones Newswires

The S&P 500 edged higher Monday following the slowest full session of trade of the year.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15 points, or 0.1%, to 21797 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%.

The stock market has been quiet in recent sessions, with trading volumes across exchanges owned by the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq hitting their lowest levels of the year Friday. Investors and analysts attributed the lull in action to the scarcity of major economic data and the winding down of the second-quarter earnings season.

Still, activity is expected to pick up in the coming week, as investors look toward economic reports including the latest estimates for second-quarter gross domestic product, personal-consumption expenditures and the monthly jobs report.

Shares of health-related companies in the S&P 500 jumped 0.6%, leading advances among the broad index's 11 sectors. Gilead Sciences shares rose 1.9% after the biotechnology company said it agreed to pay about $11 billion to acquire Kite Pharma.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 fell with oil prices as investors struggled to gauge the fallout from Tropical Storm Harvey, which is expected to cut through the heart of U.S. oil infrastructure in Texas.

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The S&P 500 energy sector fell 0.5%, with Anadarko Petroleum, Helmerich & Payne and Pioneer Natural Resources shares losing about 2% apiece. The sector is on course for its worst month since at least 2015, even after a number of oil companies reported stabilizing earnings.

Commodities prices swung as analysts warned it will take some time to measure the full impact of Harvey's damage. U.S. crude fell 2.2% to $46.84 a barrel, while gasoline futures surged.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.1% in a slow session of trade. Markets in the U.K. were closed in observance of a public holiday.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average ended down less than 0.1%, with shares of exporters weighed down by the stronger yen. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9%, driven by advances in bank stocks.

U.S. government bonds edged lower, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note recently at 2.168%, according to Tradeweb, compared with 2.169% on Friday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

William Wilkes

contributed to this article

Write to Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 10:54 ET (14:54 GMT)