Stocks Opened Lower as September Rate Hike Back in Focus

U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday after weekend comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer appeared to keep the door open for a rate hike in September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately lost 153.67 points, or 0.92%, to 16,489.34. The S&P 500 dropped 15.04 points, or 0.76%, to 1,973.83. The Nasdaq Composite was down 25.14 points, or 0.52%, to 4,803.19.

U.S. inflation will likely rebound as pressure from the dollar fades, allowing the Fed to raise interest rates gradually, Fischer said at the global central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

With low price inflation serving as a reminder of the euro zone’s delicate health, the European Central Bank is having to reassure market investors that it can do yet more to help the economy.Fresh data showed on Monday that inflation throughout the 19-country bloc was just 0.2 percent.

Oil fell below $49 a barrel on Monday, pressured by a supply glut and renewed concern about a hard landing for China’s economy. At 1250 GMT, Brent was down $1.42 at $48.63 a barrel and U.S. crude, which had rallied 12 percent last week, dropped $1.22 to $44.00.

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would buy the worldwide rights to a mid-stage fibrosis drug from privately held Promedior Inc for up to $1.25 billion.

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