S&P, Dow lifted by financials; Microsoft pressures Nasdaq

Stocks rise lifting the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 14

On Friday, investors will face a fairly light schedule with only the preliminary readings on manufacturing and services-sector activity from Markit Economics due out on the economic data side while no members of the S&P 500 will be reporting results.

Other members of the FAANG group of stocks also rose with Netflix (NFLX.O), Facebook (FB.O), Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) rising between 0.02 percent and 1.3 percent. Analysts forecast companies in the S&P 500 stock index to grow earnings at a 22 percent clip in the July through September quarter. The S&P 600 closed at 1,074.35 for a loss of -5.57 points or -0.52%.

The Dow is now up 7.8 percent for the year, while the S&P 500 is up 9.6 percent. The Dow gained 86.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,743.50, thanks largely to gains in Boeing and McDonald's.

Trump warned of further retaliation against China and accused Beijing of seeking to influence the midterms this fall by targeting USA farmers and industrial workers with high tariffs. Delta shares added 2.5 per cent to $US59.61.

"If all of the proposed tariffs were implemented, they could boost core PCE inflation by around 0.3 percentage point year-on-year", according to the report. The Dow is the only benchmark that hasn't put in a new peak since stocks, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index slumped sharply beginning in early February.

At 11:00 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 167.43 points, or 0.64 percent, at 26,414.39, the S&P 500 was up 1.66 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,905.97 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 33.24 points, or 0.42 percent, at 7,922.87.

Investors turned the focus away from the escalating trade tensions between the world's two largest economies and shrugged off the US President Donald Trump's warning to levy another $267 billion in duties on China. At the same time, stock market wealth has been flowing disproportionately - and increasingly - to the most affluent households. Copper added $0.4 percent to $2.74 a pound. Silver gained 0.4 per cent to $US14.36 an ounce. Separately, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 4.65 percent this week, the highest level since May. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 0.1 per cent to close at $US78.80 a barrel in London. Cimarex Energy rose 2.1 per cent to $US92.34.

In other energy trading, heating oil gave up 0.8 percent to $2.23 a gallon, wholesale gasoline lost 0.4 percent to $2 a gallon and natural surged 2.3 percent to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3 percent.

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