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US STOCKS-Apple, Broadcom rein in Wall Street gains on trade optimism

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 13-09-2019 22:10 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 22:07 IST
US STOCKS-Apple, Broadcom rein in Wall Street gains on trade optimism
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Losses in shares of U.S. technology majors Apple and Broadcom set Wall Street for a subdued end to the week, as traders balanced the latest indicators of uncertain global growth outlook with perceived progress in Sino-U.S. trade relations. Broadcom Inc, among the world's biggest chipmakers, weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq after it said in results late on Thursday that demand for microchips had bottomed out and that a recovery was not yet on the cards.

That pointed to more headwinds for tech companies buffeted this year by the trade conflict. Technology stocks fell 0.43% and were the biggest drag among the 11 major S&P sectors. Apple fell 2.16% after Goldman Sachs cuts its price target for the stock, citing concerns over its new Apple TV+ service.

Adding to the high-growth tech sector's losses, a U.S. House of Representatives panel demanded internal emails and other records from Apple and other technology giants - Amazon.com Inc. , Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc. All of the FAANG stocks, apart from Netflix Inc, traded lower on Friday.

"The monitor would be painted with green if not for Apple, Broadcom and Amazon," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. Still, the S&P 500's marginal gains brought it to within 0.5% of its record high, with financial stocks providing the biggest boost.

Banks followed U.S. Treasury yields higher after data showed U.S. retail sales rose 0.4% in August, lifted by spending on cars, building materials, healthcare and hobbies. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase of 0.2%. Trade worries have taken a back seat this week after trade concessions from both the United States and China and President Donald Trump's latest comments that he was potentially open to an interim trade deal with China.

"It doesn't mean we will have a trade deal, but maybe a possibility that the U.S. and China might postpone the new tariffs and possibly even relax some of the tariffs that are already in place," Cardillo said. "It's a market of hope. A hope of a cosmetic resolution." However, doubts about U.S. growth remain, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting that the tit-for-tat tariffs could reduce global GDP in 2020 by 0.8%.

At 12:05 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 63.86 points, or 0.23%, at 27,246.31, the S&P 500 was up 3.75 points, or 0.12%, at 3,013.32 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 3.60 points, or 0.04%, at 8,190.87. If markets hold at current levels, they are set for their third straight week of gains, having already recouped losses from August when escalating trade tensions and the inversion of a key part of the U.S. yield curve drove investors toward assets perceived to be safe havens in the event of a downturn.

Tyson Foods Inc, the United States' largest meat processor, rose 3.04% after China's official Xinhua News Agency said the country would exempt some U.S. pork and soybeans from additional tariffs on U.S. goods. Investors are now expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut rates at its policy meeting next week. The European Central Bank announced a sweeping stimulus drive on Thursday to prop up the euro zone economy.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 19 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 70 new highs and 14 new lows.

Also Read: Apple to supply parts to independent repair shops for first time


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