ALSO READTech, industrials lead Wall St up, banks drop; Goldman down after results Wall Street boosted by bank stocks; GE shares down on $10-bn quarterly loss Dow down for fifth straight day as global trade war fear weighs Wall Street drifts lower on last trading day of 2017 Wall Street down even as US steel stocks jump on tariff expectations
Wall Street's main indexes gave up opening gains on Wednesday as industrial companies continued to suffer from concerns over the impact of new tariffs on trade.
Boeing fell nearly 2 per cent, turning the Dow Jones Industrial Average negative, with traders citing continuing fallout from reports on Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports.
"The market is still trying to weigh concerns about tariffs on one hand and understanding how the President acts and how he speaks openly and comes up with a different policy in the end," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth.
The issue overshadowed China's report that its factory output grew much faster than expected at the start of the year, suggesting the world's second largest economy may be picking up speed.
The third straight monthly fall in retail sales did not speak well of U.S. growth but it cooled any nerves that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more than the three times in 2018.
At 9:59 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.08 per cent at 25,027.92. The S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 2,768.29 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.02 per cent to 7,512.85. Shares in Qualcomm fell about 3 per cent and those in rival Broadcom declined 1.7 percent after the Singapore-based chipmaker formally withdrew its bid for Qualcomm Inc but said it would pursue other targets.
Signet Jewelers fell about 14 per cent after the company reported lower same-store sales in the fourth quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,744 to 796. On the Nasdaq, 1,320 issues rose and 1,004 fell.