Stocks open higher on Wall Street after 3 straight losses

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street following three straight days of losses

BEIJING — Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street following three straight days of losses. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% in the first few minutes of trading Friday. Small-company stocks rose far more than the rest of the market, as they have done since the beginning of the year. Those companies would benefit the most from a pickup in the economy. In another sign that investors were anticipating economic growth and potentially higher inflation, Treasury yields continued to march higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set mortgage rates, rose to 1.31%, though that’s still low by historical standards.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

London and Frankfurt rose in early trading while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul closed higher. Tokyo retreated.

Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its third straight daily decline.

“The market is likely still on a reflation path, but the way will get choppier from here,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report. He said improvement requires “continued economic growth recovery” because government and central bank support already are reflected in asset prices.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London was up less than 0.1% at 6,621.20 while Germany’s DAX gained 0.2% to 13,912.29. The CAC 40 in France advanced 0.2% to 5,741.49.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were up less than 0.1%.

On Thursday, the Dow lost 0.4% after the U.S. government reported 861,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 0.7%.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed central bank officials believe the coronavirus pandemic still poses considerable risks to the economy.

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to avoid cutting President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion aid package. She said the economy is in “a deep hole” despite signs of improvement.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% to 3,696.17 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.7% to 30,017.92. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.2% to 30,644.73.

The Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.7% to 3,107.62 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 tumbled 1.3% to 6,793.80.

India’s Sensex lost 0.9% to 50,848.50. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

Also Friday, a preliminary version of Japan’s monthly purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing rose to its highest level in just over two years. That suggested manufacturers are coping with the country’s latest state of emergency better than many people expected.

Stock prices rose over the past six months on optimism about the development of coronavirus vaccines. That sentiment has been dented after renewed infection spikes in the United States and Europe prompted governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.

Shares of GameStop fell 11.4% on Thursday. Congress is conducting a hearing on the recent volatility of companies caught in a tug-of-war between Wall Street institutional investors betting against the companies and online retail investors who pushed shares higher.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.10 per barrel to $59.42 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 62 cents on Thursday to close at $60.52. Brent crude, used to price international oils, retreated 92 cents to $63.02 per barrel in London. It shed 41 cents the previous session to $63.93.

The dollar declined to 105.36 yen from Thursday’s 105.70. The euro gained to $1.2130 from $1.2086.

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