US stocks open slightly higher

New York, Oct 17 (IANS) US stocks opened fractionally higher as Wall Street digested US industrial production data and earnings reports.

US industrial production decreased 0.2 percent in September after edging down 0.1 percent in August, slightly above market consensus of a 0.3 percent decline, according to statistics from the Federal Reserve on Friday, Xinhua reported.

For the third quarter as a whole, total industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent, and manufacturing output increased 2.5 percent.

Some analysts believed that the Fed would not hike rates until sometime next year, given recent lacklustre economic reports.

On the earnings front, shares of General Electric Company rose about 2 percent in early trading on Friday after the company delivered quarterly earnings above expectations but revenues short of estimates.

The US conglomerate announced adjusted earnings of 29 cents per share for the third quarter of 2015, down from 38 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Its revenues for third quarter 2015 fell 1.3 percent to $31.68 billion.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21.71 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,163.46. The S&P 500 increased 2.30 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,026.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 2.42 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,872.52.

On Thursday, US stocks posted solid gains as Wall Street assessed mixed economic data and positive earnings reports from big banks.

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