Stock Market Starts Last Week Of Quarter Higher As Crude Gets An Early Lift

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened modestly higher Monday as crude-oil prices rose, with investors looking to close out the last week of the quarter and first half of 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3% at 21,458, the S&P 500 index gained 0.3% at 2,446, while the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.6% to 6,301. Early market moves followed a weaker durable-goods orders report, which showed that orders slipped 1.1% last month, compared with a 0.6% decline expected by an average estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch. Meanwhile, U.S. crude-oil prices were trending slightly higher, with August crude up 0.2% at $43.09 a barrel. In corporate news, shares of U.S.-listed shares of Nestle SA (s: NSRGY) could also be in focus after news that billionaire activist investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC took a $3.5 billion stake in the consumer-products giant.

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