U.S. stocks edged mostly higher in early trading Monday, shaking off the latest market drop in China. Investors were wading back into the market after stocks posted their worst week in four years. Utilities stocks were among the biggest gainers.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,377 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,924. The Nasdaq composite increased one point to 4,645.
ROUGH WEEK: U.S. stocks are coming off their worst-ever opening week of a year and the biggest weekly slide since September 2011. The slump came as a weakening of China's currency and steep drops in its stock market stoked worries over the outlook for the world's second-largest economy.
HEALTHY OUTLOOK: HCA Holdings jumped 6 percent early Monday after the hospital operator raised its profit forecast. The stock added $3.46 to $67.65. Tenet Healthcare also rose, climbing $1.59, or 6.3 percent, to $26.91. Both companies were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 index.
DONE DEAL: Irish drugmaker Shire announced its long-rumored agreement to buy U.S.-based rival Baxalta for about $32 billion in cash and stock. The boards of both companies have agreed to the deal, and they expect it to close in the middle of the year. Shire slid $2.21, or 5.2 percent, to $40.52.
OVERSEAS: European markets were mixed. Germany's DAX was up 0.5 percent, while the CAC-40 in France rose 0.4 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares slipped 0.1 percent. In Asia, Chinese stocks sank again after a rebound Friday that analysts suggested was due to buying from a group of state entities dubbed the "National Team." The Shanghai Composite Index fell 5.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 2.8 percent. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.2 percent, while Seoul's Kospi fell 1.2 percent. Tokyo's markets were closed for a holiday.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 71 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $32.45 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell $1.02, or 3 percent, to $32.91 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.16 percent from 2.12 percent late Friday. The euro fell to $1.0871 from $1.0903 and the dollar was little changed at 117.63 yen compared with 117.67 yen late Friday.