* Baker Hughes falls after merger with Halliburton scrapped
* Apollo Education up 12 pct on raised buyout offer
* Dow up 0.16 pct, S&P up 0.16 pct, Nasdaq down 0.02 pct (Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
May 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on Monday after data showed that U.S. manufacturing sector’s PMI for April was at its lowest since 2009.
The ISM purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.8 percent in April from 51.5 percent in March.
Investors have been keeping a sharp eye on data after the U.S. Federal Reserve held monetary policy steady last week, and gave no signals that it was in a hurry to tighten further.
Economists polled by Reuters expect two increases this year but futures prices show traders do not expect rates to rise until late 2016, according to CME Group’s FedWatch.
Wall Street closed lower on Friday, with U.S. stocks marking their largest weekly drop in more than two months as corporate earnings continued to disappoint.
“I suspect for some stability to come in after the selloff in the last couple of days,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Louisville, Kentucky-based Janlyn Capital.
“Everyone is looking for doom and gloom, and we may get it at some point, but for the moment, it appears that there is a predisposition to buying.”
Oil prices retreated from the year’s highs as rising production in the Middle East outweighed a decline the United States.
Data released on Sunday showed China’s manufacturing sector expanded marginally in April, missing estimates and raising doubts about the sustainability of a recent pick-up in the country’s economy.
At 9:56 a.m. ET (1356 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 27.87 points, or 0.16 percent, at 17,801.51, the S&P 500 was up 3.36 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,068.66 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.04 points, or 0.02 percent, at 4,774.32.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the telecom services index’s 0.74 percent rise leading the advancers.
Baidu fell 5.9 percent to $182.74 after Chinese regulators said they would investigate the company over the death of a university student, who had used its search engine to look for treatment for his cancer.
The Commerce Department’s construction spending report is likely to show outlays rebounded 0.5 percent in March after dropping by the same percentage in February. The data is expected at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Baker Hughes shares fell 0.4 percent to $48.15 after the company and larger rival Halliburton scrapped a deal to merge. Halliburton shares rose 1.06 percent to $41.75.
IBM shares rose 0.3 percent to $146.42 after Warren Buffett said he would more likely buy than sell the technology services provider’s shares over the next two years.
Apollo Education was up 9.7 percent at $8.54 after a group of investors raised their offer to $1.14 billion to buy the for-profit education provider.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,639 to 672. On the Nasdaq, 1,379 issues rose and 798 fell. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)