Wall Street's major indices were struggling to stay positive on Friday as upbeat quarterly results from Microsoft ( MSFT ) and a weaker dollar helped offset President Donald Trump's provocative remarks Friday morning about additional trade tariffs, Fed policy toward interest rates and currency manipulation by China and the EU. Led by gains in banking stocks, the Dow was fractionally higher at midday.
Stock futures were unhinged by a tape bomb from Trump indicating a readiness to hit China with tariffs on all $500 billion of imported goods into the US. Already shell-shocked by Beijing's persistent devaluation of the yuan in retaliation of US tariffs, stocks limped into the open with the Dow lower by almost 100 points.
Losses were mitigated, however, by strong quarterly results from Microsoft and Honeywell ( HON ) and modest gains in multi-nationals like 3M ( MMM ), Boeing ( BA ) and Apple ( AAPL ) thanks to a weaker dollar.
Dovish remarks from St. Louis Fed president James Bullard contributed to the upswing in the stock market with assurances that the president cannot undermine the independence of the Fed. Bullard also said the Fed should pause interest rate hikes given the possibility for an inverted yield curve.
European markets failed to gain any traction with Wall Street and ended Friday lower across the board. Trump's remarks about tariffs and EU currency manipulation weighed on European automakers Daimler, BMW and Peugeot, dragging Germany's DAX and France's CAC-40 down by 1.21% and 0.89%, respectively.
Crude oil was up $0.32 to $69.78 per barrel. Natural gas was unchanged at $2.77 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $5.30 to $1,229.30 an ounce, while silver was up $0.12 to $15.52 an ounce. Copper was up $0.06 to $2.75 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.21% to $14.16 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.18% to $22.48. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.39% to 21.65 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.54% to $116.43. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.18% to $14.59.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 14.93 points (+0.12%) to 12,801.37
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 29.58 points (+0.12%) to 25,094.08
S&P 500 was up 1.76 points (+0.06%) to 2,806.12
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.15 points (+0.13%) to 7,835.97
FTSE 100 was down 22.46 points (-0.29%) to 7,661.51
DAX was down 153.30 points (-1.21%) to 12,532.99
CAC 40 was down 48.03 points (-0.89%) to 5,369.04
Nikkei 225 was down 66.80 points (-0.29%) to 22,697.88
Hang Seng Index was up 213.62 points (+0.76%) to 28.224.48
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 56.61 points (+2.04%) to 2,829.15
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 33.05 points (-0.27%) to 12,006.07
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 27.66 points (+0.35%) to 8,000.00
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 2.92 points (+0.01%) to 14,944.65
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