Stocks Flip Flop Midday Friday

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.1%, as of 11:50 a.m. Eastern time. Earlier in the day, it had been down as much as 0.8% and up as much as 0.3%. After all its tumbling around the last two weeks, the index remains 2.4% below the record it set last month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 24 points, or 0.1%, to 25,886 after being down 204 points earlier in the morning. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.3%.

TRADE FRONTS: It’s not just the world’s second largest economy, China, that the United States has been jousting with on trade.

President Trump on Friday delayed any decision to impose tariffs on imports of cars and auto parts as negotiations continue with Europe and Japan.

But the market’s focus has rested mainly on China. The Trump administration has issued an executive order aimed at banning Huawei equipment from U.S. networks. Another sanction that subjects the Chinese telecommunications giant to strict export controls took effect on Thursday. China has threatened to retaliate. It remains to be seen how the move will affect trade negotiations, which are expected to continue.

“The trade issue could still get worse before it gets better, but our view remains that a deal will ultimately be reached to resolve the issue given the economic (and in Trump’s case political) damage that would be caused if a deal is not reached,” Shane Oliver of AMP Capital said in a commentary.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In China, Shanghai’s stock index fell 2.5%, its worst drop since a 5.6% plunge last week. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was an outlier, up 0.9%.

European markets trimmed their losses from earlier in the day, in concert with the U.S. market. Germany’s Dax dipped 0.6%

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