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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks opened modestly lower Thursday, giving back a fraction of recent gains after Congress passed a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown.

The Senate late Wednesday joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation to fund operations through mid-January, removing the risk of a holiday season shutdown in Washington.

Markets also digested a generally collegial summit between Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, although the US president went off script by saying he still considered Xi a “dictator.”

Wall St edges higher on easing producer prices

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent at 34,926.43.

The broad-based S&P 500 was flat at 4,501.54, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2 percent to 14,080.36.

Analysts have suggested stocks could be in line for a pullback due to the sense they are “overbought” following a strong run since late October.

Among individual companies, Walmart fell 7.2 percent after reporting solid results based on a 4.9 percent jump in US comparable store sales. However, the giant retailer only boosted its full-year forecast by a narrow amount.

Cisco Systems slumped 12.6 percent as it projected weaker than expected sales in the upcoming quarter, pointing to a “slowdown” of new product orders after “exceptionally strong product delivery over the past three quarters.”

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