Wall Street swings higher, shrugging off trade turbulence


NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street swung to a positive finish on Friday (Aug 3) despite being buffeted more US-China trade turbulence and a set of disappointing economic data.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close the week at 25,462.58, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to end at 2,840.35.

The Nasdaq added a token 0.1 per cent, edging to 7,812.01.

The positive close meant all three indices finished slightly higher for the week.

The day got off to a rocky start after China threatened to put punitive tariffs on an additional US$60 billion (S$80 billion) in US imports, retaliating against President Donald Trump's decision to raise proposed tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese imports.

The news coincided with the report showing the US trade gap expanded unexpectedly in June, with the bilateral US deficit with China also rising.

Meanwhile, US job creation cooled slightly in July, and wage gains were modest.

Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors said it was surprising that investors had shown so little reaction to the latest fireworks.

"I guess the market is getting used to this back-and-forth with China," she told AFP.

Alan Skrainka of Cornerstone Wealth Management said the jobs report had shown little wage or inflationary pressures and so did not overly excite markets.

"More generally, it's a quiet Friday in August," he said.

Shares in Apple edged another 0.3 per cent higher a day after the company became first publicly-traded enterprise to surpass US$1 trillion in market capitalisation.

DISH Network Corp surged 14.6 per cent after beating earnings expectations, but insurance giant AIG fell 2.7 per cent, a day after posting weaker earnings.