US stocks flip flop, erase morning losses to pull higher

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks erased an early morning loss on Friday to pull higher, the latest spin cycle for a market that’s been tossed around the last two weeks by rising and falling worries about the global trade war.

The S&P 500 fell as soon as trading opened, following European and Asian markets lower. Industrial companies had the sharpest drops after equipment maker Deere cut its profit forecast for the year, citing slower sales from farmers worried about exports, among other factors.

But stocks cut their losses, and demand for safe Treasury bonds dissipated as the morning progressed. A midmorning report showed that U.S. shoppers remain more confident than economists expected. Media reports also suggested a deal to remove steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico may be imminent.

Such jostling within the course of a single day has become common in recent weeks as the market pivoted on each turn in the U.S. trade dispute with China. President Donald Trump made good on a threat to raise tariffs on Chinese-made products, and China retaliated with tariffs of its own. The threats were interspersed with some signs of reconciliation.

Over the last week, the S&P 500 followed up its second worst day of the year with three straight gains. If Friday’s morning gain holds, the S&P 500 will avoid its first back to back weekly loss of the year.

The escalating tensions between the world’s largest economies have upended the calm that dominated markets for the early part of this year, when expectations rose that a trade agreement was in the works. The S&P 500 has twice dropped by at least 1.5% in the last two weeks, the same number it had in the first four months of the year.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 0.3%,

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