US stocks tread water ahead of data, budget release

Traders working the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 31, 2020 in New York, United States. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Feb 10 — Wall Street stocks treaded water early today amid lingering worries over the coronavirus ahead key economic reports and the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s budget.

Chinese President Xi Jinping donned a face mask and had his temperature checked while visiting medical workers and patients affected during a visit to a hospital treating infected patients.

Stocks spent most of last week in rally mode as investors largely shrugged off the coronavirus as unlikely to have a lasting negative impact on global growth.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 per cent at 29,086.09.

The broad-based S&P 500 dipped less than 0.1 per cent to 3,326.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 per cent at 9,531.46.

Investors are looking ahead to key data releases on retail sales and consumer pricing, as well as two days of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell starting tomorrow.

Trump is set to release a budget that reportedly will drop the Republicans’ long-term goal of eliminating the federal deficit over the next 10 years.

HP Inc jumped 2.7 per cent as Xerox said it was raising its offer for computer and printer maker HP to about US$36 billion.

The new offer from the imaging and copying giant is around 10 per cent higher than the bid launched last year and rejected by the HP board of directors. Xerox climbed 1.1 per cent. — AFP

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