US stocks gain with tech shares leading

VIDEO: REUTERS
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on July 5, 2018 in New York.
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange on July 5, 2018 in New York.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished solidly higher on Thursday, with technology shares especially strong as markets looked past trade war worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to end at 24,356.74.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.9 per cent to 2,736.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.1 per cent to 7,586.43.

Private US firms added 177,000 employees last month, according to payrolls firm ADP, a bit below the pace in May but a level that was still seen as solid. The figures come ahead of Friday's government jobs report.

Data also showed solid growth in US services sector activity in June, but companies raised more concerns about trade tariffs that are raising costs and uncertainty in many sectors, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

New minutes from the Federal Reserve also showed rising concerns about trade conflicts.

New US tariffs on more than US$30 billion (S$40 billion) in Chinese imports are slated to take effect at midnight, a move that is expected to spark retaliation from Beijing.

 

The market's advance suggests "perhaps that the tariff action has been priced in already and that market participants still don't think a full-fledged trade war will break out on the other side of it," said Briefing.com.

Large technology companies were strong, with Facebook jumping 2.9 per cent, Google-parent Alphabet 2 per cent and Apple 0.9 per cent.

Consumer staples also advanced, such as Procter & Gamble, which gained 1.6 per cent and Mondelez International, which climbed 2.5 per cent.

Dow member Boeing ended flat after announcing a joint deal under which it would take control of the commercial plane division of Brazil's Embraer.