North American stock markets give up big early gain after 2-day tumble

A big early gain for North American stock markets has mostly evaporated Friday, leaving major indexes only somewhat higher after two days of steep losses. Stocks remain volatile after the plunge, and they are on track for their biggest weekly losses in six months as investors have been rattled by big increases in interest rates and concerns that U.S.-China trade tensions are impairing global economic growth.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 107.19 points at 15,424.32, shortly after the trading day began, but down to 15,392.72 by mid-afternoon. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped as much as 414 points shortly after trading began. It had fallen more than 1,300 points over the previous two days. Technology companies regained a small piece of their recent losses, but other groups of stocks including banks and industrial companies turned lower following a strong start. Most of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell.

The S&P 500 index added 4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,733 at 2:15 p.m. ET. The benchmark index tumbled 5.3 per cent over the past two days and as of Thursday it had fallen for six consecutive days. The S&P is down 6.7 per cent since from its latest record high, set Sept. 20.

The Dow edged up 49 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 25,088. The Nasdaq composite gained 63 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 7,392. The Russell 2000 index gave up 12 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 1,532. That index, which is made up of smaller and more U.S.-focused companies, has fallen into a 10-per cent “correction” since reaching a record high at the end of August.

Big losses for tech giants

Apple climbed 1.6 per cent to $217.79 US and Microsoft gained 1.5 per cent to $107.49 US. Consumer-focused companies also rallied, as Amazon jumped

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