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US stocks recover to end higher, shrugging off early reports Trump may slap more tariffs on China

Tech giant Apple weighed down the Dow in afternoon trading
US and China flags on boats
The US may move forward with tariffs on an additional US$200bn of Chinese goods

US stocks reversed an early downturn to finish on Friday mostly higher.

The markets digested several reports which said President Trump told aides to move forward with tariffs on an additional US$200bn of Chinese goods in a step which will worsen the US-China trade row.

Those reports pushed the markets down for most of the session, but they recovered late.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose a fractional 0.03% to close at 26,154. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was off 0.05% to settle at 8,010. 

The S&P 500 gained 0.03% to close at 2,905. The Russell 2000 small-cap index was up 0.5% to conclude at 1,723. 

In Canada, the TSX rose 0.1% to trade at 16,017. 

12:42 PM: US benchmarks in the red after reports Trump may proceed with additional China tariffs

The US benchmarks were in the red after a Bloomberg report said US President Trump told aides to move forward with tariffs on an additional US$200bn of Chinese goods.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 45 points, weighed down by Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).  The tech giant fell nearly 2% to US$222.90.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was down more than 20 points in afternoon trading. Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) was a top decliner on the index, falling more than 2% to US$235.84.

The S&P 500 was down around 5 points by midday.

Up north, the TSX fell around 6 points as losses in the energy sector offset tech gains.

The Russell 2000 small-cap index was up slightly, lifted by Blue Bird Corp (NASDAQ:BLBD).  Shares of the bus manufacturer jumped nearly 13% to US$26.17.

10:00 AM: S&P 500 extends winning streak as US indices trade higher on optimism about new US-China trade talks

US stocks opened a tad higher Friday, pushed up by a pick-up in tech stocks and new expectations that the US and China will restart trade discussions.

Early in the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index climbed more than 24 points to 26,170, led by Goldman Sachs, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Boeing and Intel.

The Dow’s rise came amid reports in the press that the US is engaged in discussions to commence another round of trade talks with China.

The move comes despite China being poised to ask permission from the World Trade Organization to impose sanctions on the US. It also coincides with President Trump saying he is prepared to slap tariffs on another US$267bn worth of Chinese imports.

While the Dow was fast out of the gate, the S&P 500 extended its five-day winning streak, but clung close to the baseline to rise by 2 points to 2,906.

Elsewhere, the tech-laden Nasdaq added nearly 15 points to 8,029, pushed up by Shire, Wynn Resorts and the chip maker NVIDIA which gained 2% after Needham raised its price target on the stock to US$350. Adobe Systems was also up 2.6% after exceeding Wall Street’s estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit. The wider S&P tech sector was also up 0.2%.

Up in Canada, Toronto’s TSX also fell by 5 points to 15,996 while the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks stayed flat at 1,715.

7:15 AM: Wall Street shares poised to build on gains; S&P 500 within sight of record high

US stocks are set to start the last day of the trading week higher as European shares also gain and after a good showing overnight in Asia.

It comes as global trade worries ease as news of fresh talks later this month between the US and China emerge and a move seen as positive by the Turkish central bank to raise rates and bolster its currency yesterday.

A hot topic today is also Hurricane Florence, which is getting closer to making landfall in the Carolinas on the US east coast, bringing with it potentially huge damage and rainfall.

On Thursday, the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up around 147 points at 26,145, the Nasdaq finished almost 60 points higher and the S&P 500 added around 15 points to close at 2,904 - just 0.3% shy of its record close of 2,914 reached on August 29.

In futures trade, the Dow Jones is up 21 points at the time of writing; the Nasdaq is ahead by around 14 and the S&P 500 futures are  off 1.25.

In European markets, FTSE 100 is up around 18 points at 7,299, while the German DAX is ahead by around 32 points and the French CAC 40 is up by 16.

Yesterday, the UK central bank kept interest rates on hold but governor there Mark Carney said a so called 'no-deal' Brexit could see interest rate rises and a 35% fall in house prices.

But it did little to move markets, probably due to due to the fact that there were 'similar warnings' amid the referendum vote itself in 2016.

In Asia overnight Japan's Nikkei 225 added a healthy 273 points overnight, while China's Shanghai Composite Index lost nearly five points at 2,681.

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