(Corrects company name to Endo International PLC from Endo Pharmaceuticals and corrects stock symbol in 14th paragraph)
* China’s central bank cuts reserve requirement ratio
* Brent crude rises about 2.5 pct
* Valeant drops as CEO returns, delays release of results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.05 pct, S&P 0.09 pct, Nasdaq 0.27 pct
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Feb 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street edged up on Monday morning as cautious investors assessed China’s move to boost its slowing economy and higher oil prices raised hopes that the market had bottomed out.
China’s central bank on Monday cut its reserve requirement ratio, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, for the fifth time in a year.
“It’s sort of like a sugar shock, a bump in near-term growth at the expense of longer-term credibility. I think investors are caught weighing the two,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
Crude prices rose more than 2 percent after Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility.
At 10:56 a.m. ET (1555 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.73 points, or 0.05 percent, at 16,647.7, the S&P 500 was up 1.69 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,949.74 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 12.26 points, or 0.27 percent, at 4,602.73.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by the materials sector. Healthcare, however, was the biggest drag, falling 0.59 percent.
Apple’s 1 percent gain boosted all three indexes.
The S&P 500 closed above its 50-day moving average on Friday, which some traders say is a sign of improving sentiment.
If the index manages to hold on its meager gains on Monday, it will snap a two-month losing streak.
Strong data, including improving consumer spending trends, released last week suggested the U.S. economy was recovering better than expected, raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates this year.
Federal funds futures implied traders see a 38 percent chance a hike in June and a 57 percent chance in December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.
Valeant was down 8.8 percent at $73.56 after the Canadian drugmaker said its chief executive would return from medical leave, and it delayed the release of its quarterly results.
Icahn Enterprises was up 6.3 percent at $61 after the activist investor offered to buy the rest of Federal Mogul . Shares of the auto parts maker soared 45.5 percent to $7.25.
Endo International PLC slumped 16.4 percent to $44.28 after results.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,914 to 944. On the Nasdaq, 1,575 issues rose and 979 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed two new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and 21 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)