US stocks boosted by more benign signs on trade

US stocks boosted by more benign signs on trade

A street sign for Wall Street
A street sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo/File Photo)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks climbed for a second straight session on Wednesday (May 15) after the US sent more conciliatory messages on trade, offsetting lacklustre economic  data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 115.97 points (0.45 per cent) at 25,648.02

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 16.55 points (0.58 per cent) to 2,850.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 87.65 points (1.13 per cent) to 7,822.15.

Stocks opened lower following surprisingly weak US retail sales data for April. But equities got a lift from mid-morning reports at AFP and elsewhere that the White House plans to hold off on steep tariffs on imported autos.

Also, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate panel that Washington was close to resolving its differences with Mexico and Canada over steel and aluminium tariffs that have created friction among the trading partners.

Mnuchin also repeated his expectation that US negotiators would return to Beijing to pursue stalled talks aimed at resolving the US-China trade war.

Among individual sectors, Ford and General Motors gained about one per cent and Fiat Chrysler two percent following on the delay to auto tariffs.

Google parent Alphabet jumped 3.9 per cent, unveiling new promotional formats as it competes with Amazon and Facebook for advertising dollars.

Other large tech shares were also solidly higher, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix, all of which rose more than one per cent.

Macy's dropped 0.6 per cent despite reporting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings as it warned of the possible hit from new broad-based tariffs on Chinese goods threatened by the Trump administration.

Source: AFP/de