The trade dispute between the United States and China escalated on Friday, but Wall Street focused on a solid jobs report instead. After a wobbly start, US stocks mounted a rally, shaking off two consecutive weekly losses.
Concerns in recent weeks over a stepped-up trading dispute between the world’s two largest economies had weighed on the markets well ahead of Friday, when Beijing and Washington launched duelling tariffs on billions in goods.
“The markets had already sold off the prior two weeks,” said Dan Heckman, national investment consultant at US Bank Wealth Management.
“The market probably had built that expectation in already and today we’re seeing a nice rebound.”
A solid pick-up in hiring by US employers last month also helped keep investors in a buying mood. The S&P 500 index rose 23.21 points, or 0.8%, to 2,759.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 99.74 points, or 0.4%, to 24,456.48.
The Nasdaq composite added 101.96 points, or 1.3%, to 7,688.39. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 14.57 points, or 0.9%, to 1,694.05.
The US put a 25% tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday. China retaliated with taxes on an equal amount of US products, including soybeans, pork and electric cars, calling the move the start of the “biggest trade war in economic history”.
US crude oil prices reversed an early slide. Benchmark US crude gained 86 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $73.80 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 28 cents to close at $77.11 per barrel in London.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.82% from 2.83% late on Thursday.
The dollar fell to 110.45 yen from 110.68 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1745 from $1.1680.