The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - Wall Street stocks Tuesday opened lower following a disappointing report on the Chinese service sector and a warning by US retail giant Target of poor earnings.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.82 points (0.39 percent) to 16,504.46.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 8.37 (0.43 percent) to 1,930.62, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 20.01 (0.46

percent) to 4,363.88.

The HSBC China services Purchasing Managers' Index, a measure of service-sector activity in the world's second-biggest economy, slipped to 50.0 in July, the dividing line between expansion and contraction, down from 53.1 in June.

The report attributed the weakness to a property slowdown in many cities.

Meanwhile, Target tumbled 4.0 percent as it announced $148 million (R1.6 billion) in new expenses associated with a giant data breach suffered last winter.

These include the cost of claims from payment card networks for customers whose financial data was stolen.

Target also said results were marred by weak sales in the United States and Canada. - Sapa-AFP