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VOL. 42 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 17, 2018

Stocks drift in early trading as traders watch trade talks

The Associated Press

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Stocks are drifting between gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as gains in the technology sector are offset by losses in banks, packaged food makers and other companies. Energy stocks fell along with the price of oil. Investors had their eye on trade as the U.S. and China rolled out more tariffs on each other, escalating their trade dispute even as representatives from both nations held their first high-level talks in two months.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,864 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 9.39 points to 25,724. The Nasdaq composite gained 21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,910. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined less than 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,721. The Russell is coming off two consecutive all-time highs.

TRADE TOUSSLE: The U.S. and China imposed 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of each other's goods, including automobiles and factory equipment. The increases, which were announced previously, came even as envoys from both countries met in Washington for their first high-level talks in two months. Beijing has rejected U.S. demands to scale back technology development plans that its trading partners say violate Chinese market-opening pledges and that American officials worry might erode the United States' industrial leadership.

TECH BOOST: Technology companies notched some of the biggest gains in early trading. Software company Synopsys jumped 6.4 percent to $100.71.

COOKING GOOD: Williams-Sonoma jumped 10.2 percent to $68.97 after the retailer reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street's forecasts.

UNAPPETIZING TURN: Hormel Foods fell 2.8 percent to $37.43 after the Spam maker cut its sales outlook. Other packaged foods companies also declined. J.M. Smucker lost 1.2 percent to $104.10. Campbell Soup slid 1.5 percent to $40.58.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.6 percent to $67.44 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 0.6 percent to $74.32 per barrel in London.

The slide in oil prices weighed on some energy stocks. Newfield Exploration lost 1.7 percent to $27.01.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.82 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 110.93 yen from 110.57 yen late Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1567 from $1.1589.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was flat while the CAC 40 in France rose 0.1 percent. London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed 0.2 percent higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.4 percent.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0