US stocks closed lower Friday in modest knee-jerk reaction to President Donald Trump’s criticism of Federal Reserve rate increases. The president ramped up criticism via Twitter, charging that tighter monetary policy was punishing the US by contributing to a stronger dollar.
The market was assuaged when St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Trump’s public criticisms wouldn’t affect the Fed’s deliberations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.38 points, or 0.03% to 25,058.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 declined 0.09%, to 2,801.83 while the Russell 2000 was also in the red shedding 4.5 points, or 0.26% to 1,696.
1.00 PM: US benchmarks bounce back from Trump’s comments on trade
Strong earnings lifted the US stocks despite President Trump’s threats to increase tariffs on China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up around 15 points this afternoon.
The S&P 500 up less than 1%, or about 1 point.
The Russell 2000 was up slightly. Limelight Networks Inc (NASDAQ:LLNW) was a top gainer on the small-cap index following its strong second-quarter earnings.
Up north, the TSX fell more than 80 points as trade fears loom large.
10:00 AM: US stocks fail to find footing as trade battles weigh on markets
US stocks got off to a sluggish start on Friday as concerns over mounting trade battles pushed down shares of industrial companies with international exposure.
In an interview with CNBC this week, President Trump again said that he was willing to slap tariffs on nearly all of China’s imports, which are worth more than US$500bn.
Microsoft remained the Dow’s best performer, climbing 2.8% in the wake of robust fiscal fourth-quarter results owed to the resilience of its Azure cloud computing business.
GE, meanwhile, slipped nearly 5% after the industrial conglomerate slashed its yearly cash target as part of its quarterly earnings results.
In Canada, Toronto’s TSX was also trading lower, falling 67 points to 16,475 while the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks stayed flat at 1,699.9.