Reuters

(Reuters)

Stocks Open Mixed as Weak Oil Weighs

Markets Reuters

As of 9:33 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 6 points higher, or 0.03% to 18319. The S&P 500 lost less than 1 point,  or 0.03% to 2156, while the Nasdaq  fell 5 points, or 0.09% to 5133.

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(The following the original story published by Reuters)

Wall Street was set to open slightly lower on Wednesday as weak oil prices overshadowed strong hiring data from the private sector.

The U.S. private sector added 179,000 jobs in July, beating estimates of 170,000, the ADP national employment report showed. The report is seen as a precursor to the more comprehensive jobs data on Friday.

If the labor market is able to build on its recent strength, it could make the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year.

U.S. crude prices clawed back some losses but remained below $40 per barrel amid oversupply fears. 

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"Over the last seven days, we've started to give back some of the gains we made post the UK referendum," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Equity Capital Markets in New York.

"It's not as if we are retracing that massive move, we are just drifting lower here and one of the key catalysts is oil prices. On balance, we've got a market that has more good news than bad news."

Dow e-minis were down 24 points, or 0.13 percent at 8:22 a.m. ET (1222 GMT), with 22,148 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.5 points, or 0.12 percent, with 183,976 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.75 points, or 0.12 percent, on volume of 21,739 contracts.

Wall Street edged lower on Tuesday after weak auto sales and disappointing economic data spurred worries about the growth of the U.S. economy.

A report from the Institute of Supply Management is likely to show that its non-manufacturing index slipped to 56.0 in July from 56.5 in June. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Investors are also parsing company earnings to gauge the health of the U.S. economy. Of the 353 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 71 percent have beaten analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Kate Spade shares plunged 17.3 percent premarket, after the handbag maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and slashed its full-year profit and sales forecasts.

Time Warner rose 3.4 percent after beating second-quarter profit estimate and disclosing a 10 percent stake in streaming TV service Hulu.

Intercontinental Exchange rose 1 percent after the owner of the New York Stock Exchange announced a 5-for-1 stock split and said it would buy back up to $1 billion in shares.

Biogen fell 1 percent to $326.60 after The Wall Street Journal reported that the biotech company had drawn takeover interest from drug companies including Merck and Allergan.

Tesla and Twenty-First Century Fox are scheduled to report after the bell.

 

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)