Stocks are a bit higher


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Stocks opened higher on Tuesday morning, following a lighter day of trading on Monday.


Near 9:35 a.m. ET, the Dow was up 37 points, the S&P 500 was up 3 points, and the Nasdaq was up 4 points.

Yesterday, stocks closed slightly lower, with the S&P 500 down the most at about -0.4%.

It's generally quieter out there. New York Stock Exchange trading volume on Monday was at a one-month low. In a morning note, Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid noted that this partly reflects all the chaos of last month, the Rosh Hashanah holiday, and yesterday's empty data calendar.

However, there's general calm, he noted, ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision on Thursday; stocks traded in quite a tight range yesterday.


Fed fund futures are now pricing a 30% probability of a hike this month, up from 28% over the last few days. Meanwhile, economists are almost evenly split.

In data this morning, we got a second consecutive ugly Empire State manufacturing report. The headline index was -14.7, indicating that manufacturing in the region is in contraction.

Retail sales rose 0.2% in August, just below the forecast for 0.3%. And, the control group number that feeds into GDP was 0.4%, while the prior print was revised higher to 0.6% from 0.3%.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up about 1% around the time of the stock market open. Over the past few days, oil bodies including OPEC and the IEA have cut forecasts for US production.

Later today, the American Petroleum Institute will release weekly data on inventories.


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