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US stocks edge higher ahead of US-North Korea summit

US stocks edge higher ahead of US-North Korea summit

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks edged higher Monday, largely shrugging off a contentious G7 weekend meeting while looking ahead to an historic US-North Korea summit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up a hair at 25,322.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,782.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 7,659.93.

US stocks spent much of the morning under pressure after a messy finale to the G7 meeting when President Donald Trump disavowed a group communique and bitterly attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter.

Stocks later strengthened but a sell-off near the end of the session cut into the gains. Still, the market’s ho-hum reaction to the G7 clash suggested investors remained skeptical that a value-destroying trade war was likely.

“It is probably more bluster than anything else,” said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates. “It will probably blow over and end up not having much effect on our economy going forward.”

Markets were also fixated on Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which was scheduled to take place Tuesday, Singapore time.

Lynch said expectations for the talks were “fairly low” and that any agreement would be a “long, drawn-out process.”

Investors are also gearing up for policy announcements later in the week by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Among individual companies, Tesla Motors shot up 4.5 percent after chief executive Elon Musk said on Twitter that the company’s updated Autopilot software coming in August would enable “full self-driving features” for the automaker’s electric cars.

Envision Healthcare gained 2.3 percent after agreeing to be acquired by investment firm KKR for about $9.9 billion, including debt.

In another potential deal, Boston Scientific surged 7.5 percent following a report it received a takeover bid from Stryker. Stryker fell 5.2 percent following the report in The Wall Street Journal, which said it was unclear if Boston Scientific was receptive to a transaction.

Utility PG&E fell four percent after a California agency concluded that several of the wildfires that ripped through northern part of the state in October 2017 were caused by downed power lines owned by the company.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018

Source: Brecorder

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