(Reuters) – U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday as a spike in the number of coronavirus cases outside China raised concerns about the global economic impact of the epidemic, while E*Trade Financial soared on a buyout offer from Morgan Stanley.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 51.78 points, or 0.18%, at the open to 29,296.25. The S&P 500 .SPX opened lower by 5.70 points, or 0.17%, at 3,380.45. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 17.98 points, or 0.18%, to 9,799.20 at the opening bell.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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