Saturday, February 9, 2019

Trade worries, economic jitters weigh on Dow

Wall Street stocks finished little changed on Friday, bouncing back somewhat from earlier declines amid worries over US-China trade tensions and the weakening global growth outlook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.3 percent at 25,106. The S&P 500 edged up 0.1 percent to 2,707, and the Nasdaq Composite Index also added 0.1 percent at 7,298. After a torrid January, analysts have been anticipating a pullback in stocks. Wall Street fell the last two sessions and spent much of Friday in the red before a late-day bounce lifted two of the three indices narrowly into positive territory. On Thursday, US President Trump said he did not expect to meet his counterpart, Xi Jinping, before a March 1 deadline for the two economic powers to reach a deal before new tariff actions come into effect. With the outlook for a US-China trade deal uncertain, "the logical approach is to take some risk off the table," said Maris Ogg, analyst and portfolio manager at Tower Bridge Advisors. Shares of Amazon dropped 1.6 percent after Chief Executive Jeff Bezos accused the publisher of the National Inquirer of trying to blackmail him with lurid photos. A note from CFRA Research rated Amazon a "buy" based on the company's prospects despite viewing Friday's drop as evidence of investor unease. "We surmise that such developments have thus far not meaningfully detracted from a relatively swift reversion of investors' predominant focus on Amazon's fundamentals," the note said. Shares of Mattel surged 23.2 percent following an unexpected fourth-quarter profit following cost-cutting efforts and strong sales for Barbie and Hot Wheels toys.