U.S. stocks finished mostly flat on Friday in a session marked by whipsaw action in the middle of the session, spurred by a report that President Donald Trump still wants to impose tariffs on China despite recent suggestions that tensions between Washington and Beijing were easing. The Dow Jones Industrial DJIA, +0.03% ended the session up about 9 points, or less than 0.1%, at 26,155, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.03% rose less than a point at 2,905, notching its fifth straight positive day, narrowly notching its longest win streak in about seven months. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.05% gave up less than 0.1% to close at 8,010. All three of the main benchmarks sunk after a report said Trump intended on imposing tariffs on China. Bloomberg reported that Trump instructed his team to proceed with tariffs on about $200 billion more in Chinese products, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent attempts to restart talks with Chinese officials. Equity gauges shook off a late-morning report that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, would plead guilty to two criminal charges on Friday and said he would cooperate in a broad investigation into the 2016 election. Still for the week, the Dow rose 0.9%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2%, flirting with a record close, while the Nasdaq booked a 1.4% weekly gain. Markets had been buoyed by a hope that a detente between Beijing and Washington on trade was near. On the economic front, retail sales rose a scant 0.1% in August, the government said Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.3% increase. Meanwhile, the import price index sank 0.6% in August, marking the second straight month and the biggest drop in 2 1/2 years for the cost of goods imported into the country, largely reflecting lower oil
Stocks end day flat in an erratic session mired by trade angst, but indexes book strong weekly gains
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