US Stocks Open Higher on Bargain Hunting

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,675.

Contracts on the S&P 500 Index expiring in March climbed as much as 0.7 percent after the equity gauge closed little changed on Tuesday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4 percent to 21,025.10 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 2,074.38.

United States futures are pointing to a minor rebound on Tuesday after stocks fell more than 2% during Monday trading.

USA stocks closed higher as investors awaited the central bank's latest decision on interest rate hikes. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index indicated homebuilder sentiment had fallen to a three-and-a-half-year low. The S&P 500 lurched to a 14-month low, also showing more than a two percent loss for the day. The same is true of the Dow, which has dropped more than 7% since December 1. Analysts described the moves on Wall Street as a panic by retail investors. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 0.1 percent to 1,377.18.

The S&P 500 had risen as much as 1.1 percent earlier in the session but gave up most of its gains after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats had rejected his spending bill proposal.

Day's final numbers after the closing bell on the floor of the NYSE

ITALY: There was also some relief, particularly in Europe, that Italy had reached an agreement with the European Commission on its budget plans, which the EU's executive arm had warned could break the euro's rules and lead to legal action.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.6 percent to $49.88 a barrel in NY. "With the global economy facing lower growth in 2019, including the US, inflation in check and USA stocks in correction territory, it may not be the best time to be raising rates".

The price of crude oil continued its sharp slide, and investors are waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day meeting on interest rates. The Fed meets Wednesday and is widely expected to raise rates again. "Given recent economic and market developments, the Fed should cease - for now - its double-barreled blitz of higher interest rates and tighter liquidity". Microsoft's stocks declined by 3.6 percent.

"With increased stock market volatility and signs of slower growth overseas, there are increasing calls for the Fed to halt its rate increases", wrote David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

Johnson & Johnson shares rose 1.0 percent after a almost 13 percent drop over two days on a Reuters report that the company knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos. West Texas Intermediate crude is down more than 3.5%, trading at $48.41 a barrel, while Brent crude is down a similar margin, trading at $57.55.

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