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Stock market today: Wall Street opens lower following its best month in more than a year

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street ahead of some key reports this week on the job market that might provide more insight into the Federal Reserve’s thinking about interest rates. The S&P 500 was off 0.6% Monday. The index is coming off its best month in more than a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 107 points, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.9%. Treasury yields were higher and crude oil prices were down about 1%. Hawaiin Airlines soared after Alaska Airlines said it would buy the company. Spotify jumped after announcing its third round of layoffs this year.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street followed global stocks lower Monday ahead of a slew of economic data on the labor market this week.

Futures slipped, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.3% before the bell while the S&P 500 gave up 0.4%.

Wall Street ended Friday with its fifth straight weekly gain as a growing number of signs suggest that the U.S. Federal Reserve may be done raising interest rates to curtail rising costs. Inflation has slowed measurably since last year following a series of rate hikes.

The hikes are intended to cool the economy and slow hiring, and there is growing evidence that the Fed has had some success.

A report Thursday from the Commerce Department showed that prices were unchanged from September to October, down from a 0.4% rise the previous month. Compared with a year ago, consumer prices rose 3% in October, below the 3.4% annual rate in September. That was the lowest year-over-year inflation rate in more than 2 1/2 years.

While the labor markets remain strong, the rising cost of borrowing has pushed companies, particularly in the tech sector, to slow down.

Spotify said Monday that it was cutting 17% of its workforce, about 1,500 employees at the streaming music and podcast platform, citing high interest rates. Spotify share rose 2.3% before the opening bell.

The U.S. releases new data on job openings Tuesday, the number of weekly claims for unemployment benefits Thursday, and its monthly jobs data for November on Friday.

Alaska Airlines agreed to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal announced Sunday, a tie-up that would test the Biden administration that is already fighting consolidation in the airline sector.

Alaska will pay $18 in cash for each share of Hawaiian, whose stock nearly tripled in off hours trading, to $13.85, after closing Friday at $4.86.

Alaska Air Group tumbled nearly 12%.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.3%, while Germany’s DAX inched up 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4%.

China Evergrande’s Hong Kong traded shares gained 9.2% after a Hong Kong court postponed until Jan. 29 a hearing on its plan to restructure its massive debts. The property developer faces possible liquidation if creditors reject its restructuring plan.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.1% to 16,646.05, while the Shanghai Composite edged 0.3% lower to 3,022.91.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.6% to finish at 33,231.27. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7% to 7,124.70. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4% to 2,514.95.

Inflation data are also expected this week for several nations in Asia, including Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 43 cents to $73.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Overall, oil prices have been easing for several months. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 44 cents to $78.44 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar declined to 146.57 Japanese yen from 146.76 yen. The euro cost $1.0869, down from $1.0885.

Bitcoin’s comeback continued, with the digital currency breaching the $40,000 mark for the first time since April of 2022. It’s up more than 150% in 2023 after opening the year around $16,600.

On Friday, the S&P 500 reached its highest level in more than a year, gaining 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8% higher, while the Nasdaq composite added 0.6%.

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