* Business spending rises in April
* Dollar hits one-month high
* Single-family home prices increase in March
* Time Warner Cable up on Charter deal
* Indexes down: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct (Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 26 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened lower on Tuesday after the dollar jumped to a one-month high on data showing that U.S. business investment spending plans increased solidly for a second straight month in April.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that the central bank could raise interest rates this year if the economy keeps improving as expected.
The dollar was hovering at an eight-year high against the yen and a one-month peak against a basket of other big currencies.
“It isn’t normal to see such large moves in currencies,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
“Such moves heightens volatility in the market.”
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 1.0 percent last month, a hopeful sign for manufacturing activity after a recent long spell of weakness.
That was followed by data that showed single-family home prices in the United States rose more than expected in March from a year earlier, led again by strong increases in the western half of the country.
At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 111.31 points, or 0.61 percent, at 18,120.71, the S&P 500 was off 10.45 points, or 0.49 percent, at 2,115.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 20.02 points, or 0.39 percent, at 5,069.34.
Investors will be keeping a keen eye on further data, to be released in the morning, for signs that the economy is recovering after hitting a soft patch in the first quarter.
The Conference Board releases its index of consumer attitudes, which is expected to show consumer spending fell slightly in May from April. The data is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.
New home sales data at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) is expected to show sales increased to an adjusted annual rate of 510,000 units in April from 481,000 units in March.
All 10 major S&P 500 sectors were lower in early trading, with the information technology index’s 1.04 percent fall leading the way.
Apple fell nearly 1 percent to $121.39 and was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
Charter Communications’ shares were up 1.3 percent to $177.31 after it agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $55.8 billion. Time Warner Cable rose 5 percent to $179.45, well below Charter’s cash and stock offer of $195.71.
LivePerson shares were up 13.9 percent at $10.24 after an Israeli website reported software provider Nice Systems was in talks to acquire the chat software firm. Nice was down 3.7 percent at $62.64.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2,117 to 618, for a 3.43-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,640 issues fell and 713 advanced for a 2.30-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 index showed two new 52-week highs and four new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 25 new lows. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)