US stocks end flat amid worries over Fed, trade

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept 12, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished essentially flat on Friday (Sept 14), with worries about higher interest rates and the US-China trade fight weighing on sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended slightly higher at 26,154.67.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 per cent at 2,904.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 8,010.04.

After a positive open, stocks veered into negative territory at midday following a report that President Donald Trump still planned to go ahead with new tariffs with China, despite another effort at negotiations with Beijing launched by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

However, stocks later worked themselves back towards the flat-line, the latest sign investors are taking Trump trade threats with a grain of salt.

"This is part of the president's negotiating playbook and should not be a surprise for the market," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Analysts also pointed to unease after the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond hit 3 per cent before declining a bit, with investors fearing that interest rate hikes could pinch consumers.

Among individual stocks, Adobe climbed 2.3 per cent after reporting a 24 per cent rise in third-quarter revenue to US$2.3 billion (S$3.1 billion), with ventures tied to cloud computing and other digitally oriented technologies generating growth.

Advanced Micro Devices shot up 7.4 per cent after Argus lifted its price target on the company.

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