Stocks edge higher; Dow lifted by upbeat earnings from Cisco, Walmart

U.S. stocks traded modestly higher Thursday morning, with the Dow getting a lift after upbeat earnings from two components, while investors weighed the latest developments on the trade front after U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to target China telecommunications group Huawei Technologies Co. with an emergency declaration against threats to U.S. technology.

Meanwhile, economic data on the U.S. labor and housing markets came in better than expected, potentially offsetting worries over trade.

How are major indexes faring?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.82%  rose 94 points, or 0.4%, at 25,766, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.91%  rose 9 points, or 0.3%, to 2,864. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.89%  rose 7 points, or 0.1%, to 7,538.25.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.97 points, or 0.5%, to 25,648.02 and the S&P 500 index 0.6% to 2,850.96. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index outperformed its peers 1.1%, to 7,822.15.

Read: The woman who nailed the 2018 stock-market volatility blowup has kicked off an actively managed ETF

What drove the market?

The Trump administration fired a fresh salvo in a trade spat with China late Wednesday, issuing an executive order that bans telecom equipment from countries considered “foreign adversaries”. The move appeared to target Huawei, which has been under pressure from the White House for months.

Additionally, the Commerce Department said Wednesday evening that it would add Huawei to a list of entities that engage in “activities contrary to U.S. national security and/or foreign policy interests,” a move that could greatly restrict its purchases of American-made chips, which it relies on for many of its products.

A spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said the country opposes other countries imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese entities and that Washington should avoid further affecting Sino-U.S. relations, Reuters reported. The spokesman also said

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