US stocks open higher despite trade war threat


New York (AFP)

Wall Street stocks opened mostly higher Friday, recovering after fears of a trade war sent the Dow tumbling more than 700 points on Thursday.

But the retaliation announced by Beijing against the United States seemed measured and did not include the vital aircraft and soybean sectors, which allayed some of the concerns among investors.

While Asian and European stocks remained under pressure Friday after China announced plans to hit back against a punishing tariffs announced by President Donald Trump, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent to 24,062.16 about 10 minutes into trading.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 2,651.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index started essentially flat at 7,171.98, but then lost ground.

Economic data also helped boost sentiment as a big gain in US aircraft sales last month led to a jump in durable goods orders that was double what analysts were expecting, and was a good sign for economic growth.

Schwab analysts noted that China presented a "measured response" to the US announcement, saying it would target 128 US products, including ethanol, fresh fruit, pork, steel and wine.

But Patrick O'Hare of noted that the value of those goods "is a mere $3 billion, which is barely a drop in the bucket of the overall value of imported goods to China."

And, critically, the list "does not include airplanes or soybeans, which were thought to be likely targets in a retaliatory response," O'Hare added.

Nike was up more than three percent after an upbeat earnings report Thursday and despite the departure of a senior executive for bad behavior.

Cloud data service Dropbox was expected to have a strong debut on Wall Street after setting its price at $21, above the top end of the projected range.