Wall Street climbs as trade war worries cool

Wall Street climbs as trade war worries cool

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK: US stocks rose on Tuesday (Mar 6) in a choppy session as investors watched anxiously for signs US President Donald Trump would scrap proposed tariffs to avoid a trade war.US lawmakers stepped up calls for Trump to pull back from proposed import tariffs on steel and aluminium while others talked down the possibility of a trade war, helping to calm nerves after the President's proposal sparked a sell-off on Thursday.A Bloomberg report quoting a Trump ally saying he was open to changes to his proposal was cited by traders as the reason for a midday jump into positive territory for Wall Street.Investors were also eyeing the news that North Korea was open to the possibility of talks with the United States on denuclearisation."The market is basically grasping for straws around what the (tariff) policy is going to be. Based on the action we saw today it's hoping it doesn't turn into a trade war," said Jonathan Mackay, investment strategist at Schroders Investment Management in New York, adding that "North Korea helps around the margin."The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9.36 points (0.04 per cent) to 24,884.12, the S&P 500 gained 7.18 points (0.26 per cent) to 2,728.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 41.30 points (0.56 per cent) to 7,372.01.
Most of the S&P's 11 sectors rose with the materials index leading the gainers with a 1.3 per cent gain. Utilities was the weakest sector with a one per cent drop.Among bigger movers, shares in Target were down 4.7 per cent after the big-box retailer reported lower-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter.Qualcomm dropped 4.5 per cent after a US government national security panel said it identified potential risks that warrant a full investigation of Broadcom Ltd's US$117-billion bid for the chip manufacturer.Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.23-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.93-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 120 new highs and 16 new lows.
Source: Reuters
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