US STOCKS-Wall St lower on weak data, slump in oil prices
* June consumer spending records smallest gain in four months
* Oil prices hit six-month low
* S&P down 0.12 pct, Nasdaq up 0.18 pct, Dow down 0.32 pct (Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
Aug 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street was lower on the first trading day in August as oil prices touched a six-month low and data showed U.S. economy lost some momentum at the end of the second quarter.
Oil prices hit six-month lows earlier in the day, knocked by fresh evidence of growing oversupply and data highlighting slowing demand in China, leaving crude prices on course for their weakest third-quarter performance since the financial crisis in 2008.
Energy stocks were the biggest losers among the main S&P sectors, with Exxon Mobil (Swiss: XOM.SW - news) and Chevron (Swiss: CVX.SW - news) leading the losers. The companies also reported poor results on Friday.
In U.S. data, consumer spending recorded its smallest gain in four months, while the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed in July.
On Friday, wage data showed that U.S. labor costs in the second quarter rose the least in 33 years.
Investors have been keeping a sharp eye on economic data for clues regarding the timing of the first rate increase in nearly a decade. The U.S. Federal Reserve has said it will hike rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.
“There are temporary setbacks but overall the Fed is on course to raise rates in September. The market is also more focused on the pace rather than the timing of the increase,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital (Other OTC: CGHC - news) in New York.
At 9:51 a.m. ET (1351 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 55.85 points, or 0.32 percent, at 17,634.01, the S&P 500 was down 2.58 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,101.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 9.21 points, or 0.18 percent, at 5,137.49.
Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower.
With more than half of the S&P 500 companies having reported their second-quarter results, analysts expect overall earnings to edge up 0.9 percent and revenue to decline 3.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters (Dusseldorf: TOC.DU - news) data.
Tyson Foods shares fell 9.5 percent to $40.14 after the biggest U.S. meat processor cut its profit forecast for the year, citing export market disruptions in its beef business and high cattle costs.
PartnerRe (NYSE: PRE - news) was up 2.1 percent at $138.87 after Italian holding company Exor said it would buy the company for $6.9 billion, ending a prolonged battle for the reinsurer and trumping a rival bid from Axis Capital Holdings . Axis (Stockholm: AXIS.ST - news) was unchanged at $57.56.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,634 to 1,125. On the Nasdaq, 1,317 issues fell and 1,061 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 15 new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 39 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)