Jan 6, 2015 10:12 AM

US stocks edge higher at open; oil extends decline

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday, after a big slump on Monday. The price of oil continued to slide and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell below 2 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,025, as of 9:52 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,547. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 4,649.

OIL SLIDE: U.S. crude continued to fall, dropping $1.11 to $48.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil has fallen by more than half since trading as high as $107 in June. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 94 cents at $52.16 a barrel. It plunged $3.31 on Monday.

IMPACT: The prolonged slide in oil prices should help economic growth by reducing energy costs, however investors worry that the large scale of the downturn could foretell a global economic slowdown. Also, as the price of oil falls, energy companies might cut jobs, put off investment or go out of business.

EUROPE'S DAY: Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent and France's CAC-40 rose 0.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.3 percent.

EURO JITTERS: The possibility that Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party might win national elections this month has fed doubts about whether the country will stick to terms of its bailout and remain in the euro bloc. Meanwhile, a new survey showed that economic growth in the eurozone was weak at the end of 2014, suggesting that a robust recovery is still a dim prospect. The news helped keep pressure on the euro, which was down 0.2 percent to $1.1921, near a nine-year low.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell back below 2 percent. Apart from a brief dip in the fall, it's the first time the note's yield has fallen below 2 percent in more than 18 months. The dollar declined to 118.89 yen from 119.44 yen.


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