US stocks end mixed week on positive note

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NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks advanced on Friday (March 1), concluding a middling week on a positive note, as hopes of a US-China trade deal offset mixed economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 per cent to 26,02632.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 2,803.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index won 0.8 per cent to 7,595.35.

The gains Friday finished off a low-key week for US stocks as markets showed signs of fatigue after a buoyant start to 2019. The Dow finished with a slight loss for the week, ending a nine-week winning streak.

Analysts pointed to continued optimism over a US-China trade deal, which officials on both sides have signaled could be imminent.

But US economic data showed lower consumer spending in December and slowing manufacturing growth in February.

Among individual companies, Tesla Motors sank 7.8 per cent as it unveiled a version of the Model 3 sedan at US$35,000 (S$47,000), a price that the company has long promised.

Chief executive Elon Musk said he did not expect the company to turn a profit in the first quarter, an acknowledgement that revived worries over Tesla's profitability.

Walgreens Boots Alliance was the biggest loser in the Dow, slumping 6.4 per cent. MarketWatch pointed to downcast comments from Chief Financial Officer James Kehoe at an investment conference.

Gap surged 16.2 per cent after announcing plans to split the retailer into two companies, with Old Navy going as a free-standing company and Gap, Banana Republic and other brands combined into an unnamed "NewCo."

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