U.S. Stocks Open Flat As August Begins

By Ellie IsmailidouMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Monday following last week's gains that brought the S&P 500 within a whisker of a record closing high. On Monday, the market's expectations of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike this year appeared to wane, while a sharp drop in oil prices dampened risk appetite. Investors also braced for data on U.S. manufacturing that could help shape future U.S. monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 10 points, or less than 0.1%, to 18,442, the S&P 500 index was unchanged at 2,173, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 5points, or 0.1%, to 5,166. Among individual companies, Tesla Motors Inc. and SolarCity Corp. shot up over 7% premarket before being halted, after the two companies said they have reached a merger agreement.

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