Stocks open higher on Wall Street; AMC jumps on stock sale

Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street, getting June off to a strong start as traders returned from the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday with an assist from several Big Tech companies. The benchmark index is coming off its fourth straight monthly gain. Energy companies were also among the leaders as the price of crude oil jumped 3.3%. Movie theater operator AMC surged 12% after announcing a stock sale. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.63%. European markets were also higher.

Global stock markets were mixed Tuesday as investors looked ahead to U.S. jobs data for reassurance the biggest global economy is improving following the previous month’s big hiring miss.

London and Frankfurt opened and Shanghai also gained, while Tokyo retreated. Wall Street futures were higher as U.S. markets, which ended May with a gain, prepared to resume trading after a holiday.

Traders are awaiting Friday’s report on U.S. hiring in March. They’re hoping for reassurance that April’s downward lurch was a fluke. Employers added 266,000 jobs that month, half the recent average and well below expectations of 1 million.

Investors have wavered between optimism about the global economy’s revival following its deepest slump since the 1930s and fears higher inflation might prompt governments and central banks to withdraw stimulus.

“Investors may be adopting a wait-and-see approach ahead of the jobs report,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a report.

In early trading, London opened up 1.1% at 7,097.53 and Frankfurt’s DAX advanced 1.1% to 15,595.63. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.6% to 6,486.77.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index was 0.3% higher and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.1% to end May with a monthly gain of 0.5% after bumpy weeks of selling as investors watched the conflict between economic recovery and rising inflation pressures.

The Dow added 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,624.71 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.2% to 28,814.34.

China’s ruling Communist Party announced Monday it will ease birth restrictions to allow couples to have three children instead of two. The party wants to slow the rapid aging of the population and ensure and adequate number of future workers, but couples are put off by high costs and work pressures.

Also Monday, Chinese commercial banks were ordered to hold more of their foreign currency as reserves in the central bank to limit sales and restrain the rise of the exchange rate of China’s currency, the yuan.

The People’s Bank of China is trying to deter speculators after the yuan rose by about 12% against the dollar since May. The latest change is a “strong signal” that policymakers are “increasingly uncomfortable” with the speed of the yuan’s rise, Macquarie Group analysts said in a report.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.1% to 29,468.00 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6% to 3,221.87.

Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.3% to 7,142.60 while India’s Sensex rose 0.1% to 51,988.61. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets gained.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.78 per barrel to $68.10 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.37 to $70.69 per barrel in London.

The dollar advanced to 109.62 Japanese yen from Monday’s 109.59 yen. The euro retreated to $1.2217 from $1.2232.