* Dow about 34 points away from 20,000 mark
* Apple top stock on all three indexes
* Biogen up after FDA clears muscular atrophy drug
* Seattle Genetics drops after deaths during clinical trial
* Indexes up: Dow 0.15 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.62 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 27 Wall Street opened slightly higher on
Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average resuming its
march towards 20,000 and the Nasdaq hitting a record, helped by
gains in technology shares.
Energy stocks also rose, supported by oil prices. U.S. crude
was up 0.94 percent at $53.52, while Brent crude inched towards
$56 as a deal to limit supply comes into effect on Sunday.
The Dow Jones industrial average marked its seventh
straight week of gains on Friday, feeding on optimism that
President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and
infrastructure spending would bolster the economy.
"The first day of trading in the final week of 2016 is not
likely to reverse form last week's trading sessions," Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial
wrote in a note.
Global markets made small gains on data that showed Chinese
industry racked up its strongest profit growth in three months
in November, suggesting the world's second-largest economy was
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with
technology and energy stocks giving the broader index
its biggest boost.
At 9:36 a.m. ET (1436 GMT), the Dow Jones was up 29.42
points, or 0.15 percent, at 19,963.23. The index was just 13
points away from the psychological milestone of 20,000 last
The S&P 500 was up 5.49 points, or 0.24 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was up 15.38 points, or 0.28
percent, at 5,478.07, after hitting a record high of 5,509.56.
Apple was up 0.62 percent at $117.24 and was the
top stock on the three main Wall Street indexes.
Biogen shares rose 2 percent to $293.28 after the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday approved its
drug to treat spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause
of death in infants.
Ionis Pharma, which discovered the drug licensed to
Biogen, was up 5.5 percent at $56.36.
Seattle Genetics Inc plunged 14 percent after four
people died in trials testing its experimental cancer drug,
prompting the FDA to impose a clinical hold on the company's
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,697
to 894. On the Nasdaq, 1,353 issues rose and 920 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 new highs and six new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by