US STOCKS-Trade tensions keep Wall Street under pressure

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* Pinterest plummets as 2019 forecast disappoints

* U.S. agrees to lift metal tariffs on Canada, Mexico

* Luckin Coffee surges in market debut

* Dow up 0.26%, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 0.19% (Updates to early afternoon)

By Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar

May 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks struggled for direction afterthree days of gains on Friday, as investors weighed mixedheadlines on trade, with China's aggressive stance in its tradewar with the United States remaining an overhang.

After opening down 0.75%, the S&P 500 erased some lossesafter media reports that the United States was close to a dealto remove tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada andMexico. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N22T0NF

"That is a piece of positive news. The original tariffs wereon steel and aluminum and that is what started this whole tradewar," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at NationalSecurities in New York.

Upbeat economic data, which showed U.S. consumer sentimentjumped to a 15-year high in early May, kept the market sentimentbuoyant. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N22T0IF

However, the focus remained on the growing U.S-China rift,which has taken a toll on global financial markets.

The ruling Communist Party's People'sDaily wrote on Fridaythe trade war would only make China stronger and never bring thecountry to its knees. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N22T0P4

Beijing's higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S.products will take effect on June 1, which could promptWashington to go ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billionworth of Chinese goods. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N22P0A6

Uncertainty around trade led farm equipment maker Deere & CoDE.N to cut its full-year forecast, sending its shares down 6.3%.

The drop in shares of Deere as well as Caterpillar IncCAT.N and 3M CoMMM.N pressured the tariff-sensitiveindustrial sector .SPLRCI .

Energy stocks .SPNY declined 0.6%, the most among themajor S&P sectors, as oil prices fell. O/R

Applied Materials IncAMAT.O gained 4.8% after the chipgear maker's upbeat third-quarter profit eased concerns aboutwaning chip demand. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N22S4BW

At 13:17 ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up66.06 points, or 0.26%, at 25,928.74, the S&P 500 .SPX was up1.99 points, or 0.07%, at 2,878.31 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 15.06 points, or 0.19%, at 7,882.99.

Under Armour IncUAA.N rose 7.8% after JP Morgan upgradedthe sports wear maker to "overweight" from "neutral".

Online scrapbook company Pinterest IncPINS.N slumped10.8% after the recent Wall Street debutant forecast 2019revenue broadly in line with Wall Street targets. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N22S4C1

Luckin Coffee Inc's shares LK.O , the Chinese challenger toStarbucks Corp SBUX.O , surged 23.6% in their market debut. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N22T3C6

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.84-to-1ratio on the NYSE and a 1.73-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and five newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 49 new highs and 85 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel, Sruthi Shankar and ShreyashiSanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and ArunKoyyur) ((Amy.CarenDaniel@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S.+1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9250 ; ReutersMessaging: Amy.CarenDaniel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , Stocks , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: AMAT ,

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