US stocks little changed after jobs, trade data

New York: Wall Street stocks were little changed early Friday following solid US jobs data and another escalation of US-China trade tensions.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 25,358.19, up just 0.1 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 also advanced 0.1 percent at 2,828.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,793.25.

The US added 157,000 new jobs in July, which was below expectations, but the three-month average on hiring rose following upgrades to job figures for the May and June periods.

Unemployment dipped to 3.9 percent, according to Labor Department data.

Meanwhile, the US trade deficit rose 7.3 percent or $3.2 billion in June to $46.3 billion, overshooting analyst expectations. It was the largest jump in the trade gap since November 2016, according to the Commerce Department.

The report comes as President Donald Trump continues to pressure trading partners for better terms on international commerce.

As the numbers were released, Beijing warned it was ready to impose new tariffs on $60 billion in American products if Trump pressed ahead with plans to hit another $200 billion in Chinese goods with steep punitive duties.

Among individual companies, Kraft Heinz jumped 5.7 percent after signaling it expects “sustainable” revenue growth. Cost inflation will constrain profits to some extent, but “we expect our profitability to improve by year-end, with further momentum into 2019,” said Bernardo Hees, chief executive of the food giant.

Symantec plummeted 14.0 percent after announcing it would cut as much as eight percent of its workforce. The cybersecurity company offered a disappointing forecast and cited weakness in demand for its products in North America.

AFP

This post was last modified on August 3, 2018, 8:31 pm