Dow opens slightly lower as Wall Street weighs trade spat and better-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock-index benchmarks tipped lower at the open on Friday as Wall Street digested a read on the labor market for June, which came in stronger than expected, and the official imposition of tariffs between the U.S. and China, signaling dialed-up tensions over trade between the world’s largest economies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07% opened 60 points, or 0.3%, lower at 24,303, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.28% traded virtually unchanged at 2,734, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.56% climbed less than 0.1% at 7,599. U.S. nonfarm payrolls data showed that 213,000 were added in June, according to the Labor Department, surpassing estimates, but the unemployment rate rose to 4% from 3.8%. Still, the report pointed to an economy that remains healthy. U.S. equities were set to decline more briskly after Trump’s administration early Friday slapped levies on $34 billion of China’s exports at midnight, threatening further tariffs. In Beijing, China responded with in-kind duties of its own and Commerce Ministry issued a statement accusing the U.S. of “launching the largest trade war in economic history to date.” For the week, however, the Dow is set to gain 0.3%, the S&P 500 is on track for a weekly return of 0.8%, while the Nasdaq is on track for a weekly rise of 1.2%, implying that strong data overshadowed concerns about trade in the Fourth of July shortened-week, with markets closed in the U.S. on Wednesday in observance of Independence Day. In corporate news, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +0.31% were in focus after reports indicated that the behemoth bank had no plans to buy a stake in embattled German lender Deutsche Bank DB, +3.41%

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