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Wall Street rolls higher as Trump softens tariff stance


By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as fears of a global trade war eased after promised great flexibility toward the United States' "real friends" as he prepared to impose hefty import tariffs.

Worries over the likelihood of a global trade war triggered by Trump's plans have dominated markets since last Thursday, with Gary Cohn's exit heightening such concerns.

But a spokeswoman's announcement that Trump's tariffs plan may include "potential carve-outs for and based on national security, and possibly other countries as well" helped the U.S. markets recover on Wednesday.

"Anything that would suggest a little bit of a roll back from the tariffs is viewed as positive," said Scott Brown, at in St. Petersburg,

Trump had been expected to sign a proclamation imposing 25 percent tariffs on and 10 percent on aluminum later in the day, but this could slide into Friday.

The plan has faced with strong opposition from most of key partners, with and warning they would respond in the event of a trade war with the

By 9:35 a.m. ET, the rose 0.54 percent to 24,935.79. The 500 gained 0.37 percent to 2,736.94 and the Composite jumped 0.49 percent to 7,432.77.

was among the top boosts to the 500, rising 14 percent after agreed to buy the for $54-billion deal. shares slipped 7.6 percent.

The deal boosted the healthcare index, up 0.29 percent. But the top gainers were industrials and

fell 8.8 percent after the issued a disappointing full-year profit forecast.

turned 9 percent lower after trading up premarket.

A Labor Department report showed initial jobless claims rebounded from a more than 48-year low last week, but the trend continued to point to robust labor market conditions.

A comprehensive reading on jobs and wage is expected on Friday. The average hourly earnings is expected to slow to 2.8 percent in February on an annualized basis, from 2.9 percent in January.

Investors are worried that higher wages could lead to faster interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve and make borrowing expensive for companies.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,835 to 606. On the Nasdaq, 1,641 issues rose and 655 fell.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Parikshit Mishra; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 20:40 IST