Stocks shrug off trade tensions, Tillerson exit – CBS News

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U.S. stocks rose in early trading on Wednesday, shrugging off rising trade tensions and the abrupt ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 123 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,130.12 shortly after the opening bell. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 index also edged higher. 

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering tariffs that would hit up to $60 billion in Chinese imports. The push comes after Mr. Trump placed tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum, respectively. He also has touted the benefit of trade wars, even amid warnings from governments including China, Mexico, Canada and the EU about potential retaliation. 

Mr. Trump on Tuesday announced that CIA Director Mike Pompeo about replace Tillerson as Secretary of State, adding to uncertainty over White House diplomacy and deepening disarray in the Trump administration. The upheaval also adds to concerns over tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Despite the tensions, chief executives are expressing optimism about hiring and spending, according to the most recent poll by the Business Roundtable. The survey found the economic outlook from CEOs of some of America’s biggest companies reached a 15-year high, bolstered by the GOP tax cuts. The poll was conducted before Mr. Trump’s tariff decision. 

Global shares were mixed Wednesday as Asian markets fell after news of Tillerson’s exit.

“Over and above the reflection of chaos within the U.S. administration, the removal of another balancing voice in the White House shortly after ex-economic adviser Gary Cohn’s departure certainly induced jitters within the market,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

France’s CAC 40 added 0.2 percent to 5,254.76. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2 percent to 12,245.56 and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained nearly 0.2 percent to 7,149.96. U.S. shares were set to drift higher, with Dow futures up 0.3 percent at 25136 and S&P 500 futures also 0.3 percent higher at 2,780.00.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.9 percent to close at 21,777.29. Australia’s AS&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.7 percent to 5,935.30. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 2,486.08. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.5 percent to 31,435.01, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.6 percent to 3,291.38. Shares also fell in Southeast Asia.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 29 cents to $61.00 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped 65 cents to $60.71 a barrel in overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 20 cents to $64.84 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 106.53 yen from 106.58 yen late Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.2378 from $1.2388.

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