US stocks edge higher as energy shares lead

US stocks edge higher as energy shares lead
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New York: Wall Street stocks ended modestly higher Friday, with energy shares especially strong while a rally in banking shares faded.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.2 percent at 24,271.75.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent to 2,718.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index eked out a 0.1 percent gain to 7,510.30.

Worries about worsening trade conflicts have weighed on stocks for weeks amid new tariff announcement, countermeasures and threats.

Investors shrugged off an announcement by Canada, which unveiled tariffs on $12.6 billion in US goods in retaliation for American tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel.

JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said the Canadian announcement had been expected and that day-to-day swings in stocks were not surprising given the trade worries.

“Much of the negotiations on tariffs are being done through the press or Twitter,” he said. “The coverage makes a huge deal out of everything but it is not necessarily as big a deal.”

Still US stocks ended well below their session peaks, with several large banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, finishing in negative territory after surging in the morning.

Analysts have cited worries about lower US Treasury yields, in addition to trade anxiety.

Petroleum producers such as ConocoPhillips and Apache surged almost two percent as US oil prices rose to a new three-and-a-half year high on worries about global supply disturbances.

Dow member Nike powered 11.2 percent higher after its earnings easily topped analyst expectations and it announced a $15 billion share buyback program, while offering an upbeat outlook on its online-based direct selling program.

But General Motors slumped 2.7 percent as it warned that the Trump administration’s aggressive trade policies could backfire and lead to job cuts. Ford and Tesla Motors also dropped.

Constellation Brands sank 5.6 percent as it reported lower-than-expected profits and revenues.

AFP