Stocks Opened Lower with Fed Speakers ahead

U.S. stocks opened lower on Monday as investors looked ahead to scheduled comments from Federal Reserve speakers and the start to the corporate earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately retreated 58.74 points, or 0.29%, to 19,905.06. The S&P 500 slipped 5.41 points, or 0.24%, to 2,271.57. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.96 points, or 0.04%, to 5,523.02.

Oil prices fell Monday as lingering doubts over production cuts and concerns over increased drilling activities in the U.S. damped sentiment among traders and money managers. Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at $53.06 a barrel, down 93 cents, or 1.7%. March Brent crude fell 99 cents, or 1.8%, to $56.10 a barrel.

Fast-food giant McDonald’s is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of investors led by state-owned Chinese conglomerate Citic in a deal worth up to $2.1 billion, the companies said Monday.

Fiat Chrysler says it’s investing $1 billion in two factories to create 2,000 new jobs and add three new Jeep vehicles including a pickup truck.

Mars Inc said it would buy VCA Inc (WOOF.O) for $7.7 billion, cementing the Whiskas and Pedigree pet food maker’s position as the largest operator of pet hospitals in the United States.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to sell oncology assets including the pancreatic cancer drug Onivyde to French drug maker Ipsen SA. In a news release on Sunday, Merrimack (MACK) said it would sell Onivyde and its generic version of Doxil to French drug maker Ipsen IPN, -0.60% in a deal worth up to $1.025 billion.

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