Stocks Inch Higher Early Monday

Stocks Inch Higher Early Monday

(AP) -- U.S. stocks moved slightly higher in early trading Monday, holding up better than many expected in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. European markets shook off an early loss and were mixed in afternoon trading there.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,285 as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained five points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,028. The Nasdaq composite added less than one point to 4,928. The U.S. stock market is coming off its biggest weekly loss since August.

MARKET IMPACT: Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people, make it even more likely that the European Central Bank will expand its stimulus program at the conclusion of its December meeting, analysts said. The attacks also drove speculation that the Federal Reserve could hold off on raising rates next month.

"At this juncture, it is easy to see that the Fed's intentions to 'normalize' monetary policy could be derailed by a combination of adverse domestic economic and external events," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

SECTOR VIEW: Eight of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index rose, led by consumer staples, a category that includes Coca-Cola and household products maker Procter & Gamble.

HOTEL DEAL: Marriott International announced it is buying rival hotel chain Starwood for $12.2 billion in cash and stock. If completed, the deal would make Marriott the world's largest hotelier by a wide margin. Shares in Marriott fell $1.27, or 1.7 percent, to $71.52. Starwood slid $4.91, or 6.6 percent, to $70.08.

OVERSEAS MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX edged up 0.4 percent, while France's CAC-40 was little changed. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell nearly 1 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost nearly 1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.7 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 60 cents to $40.14 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 85 cents to $43.62 a barrel in London.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.25 percent from 2.28 percent late Friday. The dollar rose to 123.02 yen from 122.72 yen and the euro fell to $1.0714 from $1.0740.

(KA)