US STOCKS-Wall St flat as investors seek growth catalysts

lunes 21 de marzo de 2016 09:50 GYT

* Starwood up after Marriott's higher offer

* IHS up after deal to buy Markit

* Dow down 0.06 pct, S&P down 0.07 pct, Nasdaq up 0.03 pct (Updates to open)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on Monday as investors sought fresh catalysts for stocks to add to a five-week rally sparked by the central bank action, recovering oil prices and encouraging economic data.

Crude prices rose slightly, even as uncertainty remains about major exporters reaching an agreement to freeze production and signs of U.S. producers increasing drilling activity.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's accommodative move last week to cut the number of expected rate hikes this year to two was the latest among a slew of measures by central banks to support growth and calm the turmoil in global financial markets.

The S&P 500 on Friday turned positive for the first time in 2016, closing up 0.25 percent, recovering from a more than 10 percent fall earlier in the year.

"While ... there's no obvious profit driver out there, we haven't gotten any news to derail the rally we've had since the Feb. 11 lows," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.   Continuación...