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Mid-Day Update: US/China Trade Issues Continue to Captivate Wall Street

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is struggling to stay positive Tuesday as Wall Street considers mixed messages pertaining to US/China trade tensions with upbeat economic data and positive earnings from the retail sector. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are holding onto slim gains attributed to positive price action in the chipmaker and banking sectors.

China's decision to cut auto import tariffs to 15% coupled with Washington's efforts to reach a deal to allow China's ZTE Corp to conduct business in the US elevated stock futures before the opening bell as investor's applauded easing trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

But after setting a 10-week high at the open, blue chips started to reverse course after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that despite "very meaningful progress" China will still be subject to aluminium and steel tariffs. The headlines overshadowed a surge in the Richmond Fed manufacturing index and better-than-expected earnings from TJ Maxx ( TJX ), Kohl's ( KSS ), Auto Zone ( AZO ) and Advanced Auto Parts ( AAP ).

European markets closed higher, led by a record high in the London stock market and gains in the Borsa Italiana as Italy's political unrest moves toward resolution. Germany's DAX outperformed with a 0.71% gain with the auto sector underpinned by lowered Chinese tariffs.

Crude oil was up $0.52 to $72.76 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.09 to $2.90 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.20 to $1,292.20 an ounce, while silver was up $0.08 to $16.60 an ounce. Copper was up $0.03 to $3.13 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.25% to $14.71 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.52% to $23.65. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.03% to 22.27 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.02% to $122.50. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.41% to $15.60.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index was up 37.23 points (+0.29%) to 12,840.93

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 22.27 points (-0.09%) to 24,991.02

S&P 500 was up 4.74 points (+0.17%) to 2,737.64

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.58 points (+0.16%) to 7,405.49

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 18.28 points (+0.23%) to 7,877.45

DAX was up 92.20 points (+0.71%) to 13,169.92

CAC 40 was up 2.59 points (+0.05%) to 5,640.10

Nikkei 225 was down 42.03 points (-0.18%) to 22,960.34

Hang Seng Index was closed

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.69 points (+0.02%) to 3,214.53

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 61.47 points (+0.49%) to 12,692.17

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 64.35 points (+0.79%) to 8,171.17

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 3.24 points (+0.02%) to 14,506.20

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) LKM (+13.30%) Shareholder letter seeks to ease accounting concerns

(+) CHEK (+7.37%) Announced publication of CE Mark multicentre clinical study on C-Scan

(+) PLAB (+5.92%) Q2 results beat estimates, guides Q3 EPS above street expectations

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) ARDX (-17.26%) Announced $50 million stock offering

(-) DY (-17.27%) Missed Q3 estimates, lowered FY19 guidance

(-) LBY (-8.19%) Suspended quarterly dividend

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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