Dow heads higher in morning trade, tries to avoid second straight drop as oil prices slump

U.S. stock indexes on Wednesday bounced around at the open, with the Dow attempting to avoid falling for a second session in a row as appetite for assets perceived as risky stalled and crude prices slumped, weighing on the broader market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.03% edged up 20 points, or 0.1%, at 26,072, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.05% was up less than 0.1% at 2,887, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.24% fell 0.1% at 7,814. Weakness in the information technology stocks, which have been among the best forming sectors in the market, were helping to lead the market lower along with energy shares. A late-Tuesday report from the American Petroleum Institute showed that U.S. crude stockpiles climbed more than expected last week, implying weakening demand, dragging West Texas Intermediate oil futures sharply lower CLN21, -0.21% Lingering trade tensions over international trade relations and questions over whether the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in coming meetings has been a key catalyst for markets. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, -1.73% tumbled amid protests over an unpopular bill that would allow people to be extradited to China. In economic news, U.S. price inflation remains tame, according to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price index, which showed prices rising 0.1% in April, in line with the consensus forecast, according to a MarketWatch poll of economists.