Investing.com - " U.S. stocks opened mixed to lower on Monday, as investors remained cautious amid ongoing uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will soon begin tapering its stimulus program.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.16%, the S&P 500 index edged down 0.07%, while the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.16%.
Markets were jittery as concerns over the impact of the 16-day shutdown on the U.S. economic recovery fuelled expectations that the Fed would delay plans for rolling back its asset purchase program until at least the beginning of next year.
Investors were eyeing U.S. data releases later in the week after the shutdown delayed the release of some key economic reports. The September nonfarm payrolls report, which had been originally scheduled for release on October 4, was due on Tuesday.
On the upside, AT&T shares rallied 1.21% after the largest U.S. phone company agreed to sell or lease 9,700 wireless towers to Crown Castle International for USD4.85 billion, giving it extra cash as it considers a European expansion.
Google gained 0.52% after soaring over 13% on Friday, thanks to better-than-expected earnings. At least 16 brokerages raised their price targets on the stock to between USD880 and USD1,220.
Elsewhere, Apple shares jumped 1.48% amid reports it is upgrading its iPad lineup to fend off a growing list of competitors, which are introducing their own tablets at lower prices with more attractive features.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan slipped 0.15% after announcing on Friday a tentative USD4 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on claims the bank misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about mortgages it sold to them.
Other U.S. lenders added to losses, as Citigroup dipped 0.04% and Bank of America retreated 0.82%.
In earnings news, McDonald's posted profit just above market expectations but said revenue was light, sending shares down 1.83%. Hasbro soared 8.57% after the toy company posted a higher-than-expected profit, thanks to strong demand overseas.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Halliburton, Discover Financial, Netflix and Texas Instruments, scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 inched up 0.01%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.29%, Germany's DAX edged down 0.09%, while Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.20%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.42%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rallied 0.91%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release private sector data on existing home sales.
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