Stocks Opened Slightly Lower, Eyed on Data and Fed Speakers

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower ib Friday as traders eyed the release of September manufacturing activity and comments from Fed speakers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately lost 42.60 points, or 0.23%, to 18,349.86. The S&P 500 fell 7.41 points, or 0.34%, to 2,169.77. The Nasdaq Composite fell 18.20 points, or 0.34%, to 5,321.32.

Manufacturing activity in September grew at the slowest pace in three months as purchasing managers blamed limp new orders and the strong dollar, according to data released Friday. The Markit flash U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.4 in September from 52.

Apple has been considering a purchase of the British automotive manufacturer McLaren Technology Group, and conducted talks with the company, according to a new report from Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw at the Financial Times.

Oil futures struggled for direction on Friday after a report indicated that Saudi Arabia is ready to cut production in a bid to stabilize prices if Iran agrees to an output freeze. West Texas Intermediate slipped 2 cents to $46.30 a barrel. Brent crude erased losses to trade 18 cents, or 0.4%, higher at $48.39 a barrel.

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