* Bill seen as litmus test of Trump on legislation
* Feb durable orders dip, but shipments surge
* Micron jumps after rev, profit forecasts beat estimates
* Indexes up: Dow 0.20 pct, S&P 0.26 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct
(Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 24 Wall Street opened higher on Friday,
helped by a rise in technology shares and ahead of a closely
watched vote on a healthcare bill seen as a test of President
Donald Trump's ability to pass his legislative agenda through
It was not clear late on Thursday evening that Trump and
Republican leaders had enough support to pass the bill, with
Trump warning lawmakers from his party that he will leave
Obamacare in place if they do not rally around him.
Investors fear that a failure to pass the bill could
endanger Trump's promises of tax cuts and stimulus.
On Tuesday, Wall Street recorded its worst one-day loss
since before the U.S. presidential election due to these
concerns. The Dow and S&P 500 are now on track to post their
first monthly declines since October.
"Yes, the delay is a disappointment but the bill hasn't
failed," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich
Securities in New York.
"Unfortunately, we are going to get bogged down by this a
little bit which does push out the timing of tax reform though
we can still have the framework for the tax reform by October
and still have it in 2018. I think the market is starting to
digest that a little with the selloff we had on Tuesday."
The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street's "fear
gauge", closed at its highest level in more than two months on
Thursday and continued to hover near that mark on Friday.
The S&P has risen about 10 percent since Trump's election as
U.S. president on Nov. 8.
At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 42.19 points, or 0.20 percent, at 20,698.77, the
S&P 500 was up 6.28 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,352.24.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 25.99 points, or 0.45
percent, at 5,843.68.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the
technology index's 0.54 percent rise leading the
Micron Technology jumped 12.3 percent to $29.60, a
day after the chipmaker's current-quarter revenue and profit
forecasts beat expectations. The stock was the biggest boost to
the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Oil edged higher, boosted by hopes that an OPEC output cut
was beginning to balance a long-oversupplied market, but
benchmark prices were on track for weekly losses.
Data on Friday showed new orders for key U.S.-made capital
goods unexpectedly fell in February, but shipments surged.
The Commerce Department said non-defense capital goods
orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business
spending plans, dipped 0.1 percent last month after rising 0.1
percent in January.
GameStop fell 11.8 percent to $21.13 after the
company's full-year profit forecast fell far below estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,800
to 680. On the Nasdaq, 1,520 issues rose and 571 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed four new 52-week highs and one new
low, while the Nasdaq recorded 22 new highs and 12 new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil