September 18, 2018 / 11:42 AM / 3 months ago

Wall Street bounces back as investors shrug off trade tensions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street rebounded on Tuesday in a broad-based rally as investors brushed aside intensifying trade rhetoric between the United States and China.

All three major U.S. indexes closed higher following Monday’s sell-off.

Late Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China would go into effect next week, escalating the tit-for-tat trade spat between the world’s two largest economies.

China responded on Tuesday by unveiling 10 percent tariffs on about $60 billion of U.S. goods effective Sept. 24.

“Initially they were talking about tariffs in the 20 to 25 percent range, and that’s actually been lowered to 10 percent,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. “Maybe these numbers aren’t going to be as bad as initially thought.”

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“There’s much more pressure on the Chinese to reach a deal than there is on (the United States), at this point,” Massocca added.

Tech stocks .SPLRCT were bolstered by news that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and fitness gadget-maker Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) would escape the tariffs. Apple shares closed up 0.2 percent while Fitbit shares rose 6.4 percent.

Trade-sensitive industrials .SPLRCI gained ground, with Boeing Co (BA.N) ending 2.1 percent higher. The planemaker, the biggest U.S. exporter to China, led the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s advance.

Nike Inc (NKE.N) also boosted the blue-chip index as Telsey Advisory Group hiked its price target. The stock was reached an all-time closing high, up 2.4 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 184.84 points, or 0.71 percent, to 26,246.96, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 15.51 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,904.31 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 60.32 points, or 0.76 percent, to 7,956.11.

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Consumer discretionary .SPLRCD was the best performing of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, rising 1.3 percent.

The energy sector .SPNY advanced 0.7 percent as crude prices LCOc1 rose on signs that OPEC is not prepared to boost output to address shrinking supplies from Iran.

Among losers, Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) sank 3.4 percent after disclosing that it had received a request for documents from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Chief Executive Elon Musk’s public statements about taking the company private.

Insurer Marsh & McLennan (MMC.N) slid by 4.0 percent on news that it will buy British insurance and reinsurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT.L) for $5.7 billion.

Defensive groups lagged, with consumer staples .SPLRCS ending down 0.4 percent. General Mills Inc (GIS.N) dropped 7.6 percent after missing analysts’ quarterly sales estimates, extending the packaged food company stock’s near-26 percent year-to-date decline.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.35-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.42-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 58 new highs and 83 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.39 billion shares, compared with the 6.20 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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