May 10, 2019 / 7:12 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500 erases losses after Mnuchin comments on U.S.-China trade

* Tariff increase on $200 bln of Chinese goods takes effect

* Symantec plunges on profit warning, CEO departure

* Uber opens below IPO price

* Dow up 0.22%, S&P up 0.14%, Nasdaq down 0.10% (Updates to late afternoon trade, changes byline, adds NEW YORK to dateline)

By April Joyner

NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 erased early losses to edge higher on Friday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said trade talks between the United States and China were “constructive,” but the index remained on track for its biggest weekly percentage loss since December.

The benchmark stock index had dropped as much as 1.6% but rebounded from its session lows after Mnuchin’s comments. Earlier, stocks had slumped after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in “no hurry” to sign a deal as higher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods went into effect.

U.S. stocks have been roiled this week as the White House has imposed additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Recent developments in U.S.-China trade talks have led investors to brace for an extension and a potential escalation of the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. That in turn has stoked fears of a global economic slowdown, prompting a flight to low-risk assets such as government bonds. As a result, the S&P 500 has fallen 2.5% for the week.

Even so, the continued negotiations between Washington and Beijing kept some investors hopeful.

“The market is discounting increased trade tensions but taking into account the discussions still going on,” said Anthony Saglimbene, global market strategist at Ameriprise. “The base case for the market continues to be that we’ll get a deal, which is why we haven’t seen it selling off more aggressively today.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.72 points, or 0.22%, to 25,884.08, the S&P 500 gained 4.1 points, or 0.14%, to 2,874.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 8.10 points, or 0.1%, to 7,902.49.

Uber Technologies Inc shares dropped 2.8% after having opened below their initial public offering price in the ride-hailing company’s long-awaited market debut.

Symantec Corp shares plunged 12.1% after the antivirus software maker issued a profit warning and unexpectedly announced its chief executive officer would step down.

Chipmakers, which draw much of their revenue from China, edged lower to extend their decline. The Philadelphia semiconductor index has fallen more than 6% this week.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.28-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 46 new highs and 100 new lows. (Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis)

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