US stocks gave up early gains and were in negative territory in midday trading, while the US dollar continued to sink in the wake of last week’s steel and aluminium tariff plan.
The S&P 500 was up as much as 0.4 per cent this morning — and also down by as much — but was 0.1 per cent lower just after noon New York time.
Half of the market’s 10 major sectors were in the black. The gains were led by basic materials, up 0.4 per cent; technology, up 0.2 per cent; and telecommunications services, up 0.1 per cent. Utilities were the worst performers, down 0.7 per cent.
Among individual stocks, Netflix set another record high in the wake of the company’s Academy Award win over the weekend and a host of analyst upgrades. Shares in the online streaming site were up 2.3 per cent $322.09.
Shares in Qualcomm were down 3.3 per cent after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which has the authority to review and block foreign takeovers, issued a warning against Broadcom’s proposed $142bn takeover of the company.
Down 5.2 per cent, Target was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 as concerns over pressure on profit margins overshadowed a blowout quarter of sales gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.5 per cent weaker but the Nasdaq Composite was bucking the trend with a 0.2 per cent gain.
The US dollar was down 0.6 per cent, remaining under pressure since Thursday when President Donald Trump revealed plans to slap heavy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, stirring concerns about the breakout of a global trade war.
With equities looking a bit weak, investors dipped their toes back into US Treasuries, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year down 1.3 basis points to 2.8662 per cent.