Stocks ex­tend gains af­ter early slide

The News-Times - - BUSINESS -

Stocks re­versed an early slide on Wall Street and fin­ished broadly higher Wed­nes­day, giv­ing the mar­ket its se­cond straight gain in a week of bumpy trad­ing.

Big tech­nol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft, Ap­ple and Google par­ent Al­pha­bet, led the rally as the mar­ket shrugged off an ini­tial stum­ble. Banks took heavy losses fol­low­ing a sharp drop in bond yields.

In­vestors got in a buy­ing mood af­ter Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin gave a Se­nate sub­com­mit­tee a promising up­date on the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to reach a trade deal with Canada and Mex­ico. Mar­kets also got a boost from re­ports that the White House plans to de­lay new tar­iffs on car and auto parts im­ports from Europe by up to six months.

“The mar­ket does not be­lieve that the trade dis­cord will be pro­tracted or widen, nor lead to a world­wide eco­nomic slow­down, or worse yet, a global re­ces­sion,” said Sam Sto­vall, chief in­vest­ment strate­gist at CFRA.

The S&P 500 in­dex gained 16.55 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 2,850.96. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose 115.97 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 25,648.02. The in­dex had briefly fallen 190 points.

The Nas­daq, which is heav­ily weighted with tech­nol­ogy stocks, added 87.65 points, or 1.1 per­cent, to 7,822.15.

Small-com­pany stocks lagged the mar­ket. The Russell 2000 in­dex picked up 5.21 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 1,548.27.

Ma­jor in­dexes in Europe closed higher.

Stocks have been whip­sawed this week by wor­ries over the wors­en­ing trade re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and the U.S. and the fall­out it may have on the broader global econ­omy. The mardis­pute ket plunged Mon­day, bounced back Tues­day and see-sawed Wed­nes­day.

On Wed­nes­day, Mnuchin told a Se­nate sub­com­mit­tee that the U.S. is mak­ing progress on lift­ing tar­iffs im­posed on steel and alu­minum from Canada and Mex­ico, potentiall­y over­com­ing a key hur­dle to­ward ap­proval of a trade agree­ment be­tween the three coun­tries.

Ad­dress­ing an­other con­tentious trade is­sue, Mnuchin also said he ex­pects to soon travel to Bei­jing with U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer to re­sume ne­go­ti­a­tions on the trade be­tween the U.S. and China. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said that he ex­pects to meet Xi in late June at the G-20 sum­mit in Osaka, Ja­pan.

Ten­sions be­tween the world’s two big­gest economies in­ten­si­fied over the last week. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion more than dou­bled tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion in Chi­nese im­ports and spelled out plans to tar­get the $300 bil­lion worth that aren’t al­ready fac­ing 25 per­cent taxes. The es­ca­la­tion cov­ers ev­ery­thing from sneak­ers to toast­ers to bil­liard balls. The Chi­nese have re­tal­i­ated by hik­ing tar­iffs on $60 bil­lion in U.S. im­ports.

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