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Reuters Quote: US STOCKS-Wall St opens mixed ahead of homebuilder

* Endo down after agreeing to buy Par Pharmaceutical
* Altera up on report of possible deal with Intel
* Ann rises after Ascena Retail takeover offer
* S&P closed at record-high on Friday
* Indexes: Dow up 0.05 pct, S&P down 0.02 pct, Nasdaq down 0.08 pct (Updates to open)
By Sweta Singh
May 18 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday after a stream of weak economic data over the last week muddied the outlook for U.S. interest rates, making investors wary of taking big positions.
The market will get another clue on the state of the economy at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) when the National Association of Homebuilders releases its monthly homebuilder confidence index.
If the index does not rise, as expected, stocks could rally, said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
The U.S. economy is struggling to rebound strongly enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before September, analysts have said.
Data released on Friday showed that industrial output slipped and consumer sentiment fell. The S&P gained 0.08 percent to close at a record high of 2,122.73, modestly exceeding its previous peak on April 24.
The Federal Reserve could look at a rate hike in June if the economy is strong enough, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Monday, although he argued for rates to start rising in early 2016.
Six of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were down, with the materials index weighing the most with a 0.46 percent fall. LyondellBasell was down 1.18 percent, making it the biggest drag on the index.
At 9:40 a.m. ET (1340 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 8.98 points, or 0.05 percent, at 18,281.54, the S&P 500 was down 0.36 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,122.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 4.09 points, or 0.08 percent, at 5,044.20.
Endo International’s shares fell 3.3 percent to $82.77 after the generic drugmaker said it would buy privately held Par Pharmaceutical from TPG Capital in a $8.05 billion deal.
Altera rose 5.8 percent to $46.99 after the New York Post reported that the company had resumed talks with Intel on a possible deal. Intel was little changed.
Ann Inc gained 21.5 percent to $47.05 after the company agreed to be bought by Ascena Retail for $2.15 billion in cash and stock.
Alibaba fell 1.4 percent to $87.17 after a group of luxury goods makers sued the company on Friday, contending that the Chinese e-commerce giant knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,627 to 1,023, for a 1.59-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,206 issues fell and 1,063 advanced for a 1.13-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 index posted 12 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the NasdaqComposite recorded 29 new highs and 17 new lows.

Source: US STOCKS-Wall St opens mixed ahead of homebuilder