(Updates prices, changes comment)
* Light trading as Europe, other markets close for May Day
* Report says Trump mulls breaking up banks; sector stocks
* U.S. manufacturing slows, consumer spending flat
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, May 1 Apple shares hit a record high
on Monday, lifting U.S. stocks and a gauge of key world equity
indexes, while data on U.S. drilling and output kept downward
pressure on oil prices.
Global trading was light, with some markets in Europe and
Latin America closed for the May Day holiday, while Japan was
open overnight during a shortened trading week.
Data showed U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in April
while consumer spending was unchanged in March and a key
inflation measure recorded its first monthly drop since 2001.
Despite the soft data, traders continued to see a 7-in-10 chance
that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in June.
On Wall Street, Apple and other large technology companies
led the way, sending the Nasdaq Composite to a record high.
Apple is due to report its earnings on Tuesday, while Facebook
will report on Wednesday.
So far, reported and expected profits at S&P 500 companies
are estimated to have risen 13.6 percent in the first quarter,
the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The economic data today is causing some investor
nervousness ahead of the jobs report this Friday," said Matt
Miskin, senior capital markets research analyst at John Hancock
Investments in Boston.
"While we're starting the week of on a bit of weak economic
news, the markets may turn back to corporate fundamentals as
corporate earnings are still coming in strong."
Stocks were supported also as U.S. Congress negotiators
agreed on a federal funding deal late on Sunday, removing a
hurdle for investor confidence.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.12 points,
or 0.05 percent, to 20,950.63, the S&P 500 gained 7.62
points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,391.82 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 48.45 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,096.05.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
gained 0.25 percent.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.16 percent. MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
closed 0.31 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei rose
Stocks briefly pared gains after U.S. President Donald Trump
said in an interview with Bloomberg he is actively considering
breaking up the largest U.S. banks.
Oil slipped more than 1 percent as rising output in Libya
and increased U.S. drilling countered OPEC-led production cuts.
"With four months of the cutting in effect we haven't seen a
sizable reduction in global oil fuel inventories," said Gene
McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in
Stamford, Connecticut. "It's not sizable enough to see some
proof, and the market is having trouble holding most of its
gains since 2016."
U.S. crude fell 1.28 percent to $48.70 per barrel
and Brent was last at $51.39, down 1.27 percent on the
Crude prices were also pressured by data showing that growth
in Chinese manufacturing slowed faster than expected in April.
The weak U.S. data initially weighed on the dollar, but
moves among major currencies were relatively small. The dollar
index rose 0.03 percent, with the euro up 0.08
percent to $1.0904.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.29 percent versus the greenback
to 111.86 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at
$1.2908, down 0.29 percent on the day.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 13/32 in price
to yield 2.327 percent, from 2.282 percent late on Friday.
Spot gold dropped 1.0 percent to $1,255.18 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures fell 0.97 percent to $1,256.00 an
Copper rose 0.76 percent to $5,735.50 a tonne.
(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru and David
Gaffen in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu