Wall Street ends near flat, but financials climb with yields

A trader shouts out a bid on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Sept 15 ― US stocks ended little changed yesterday as financials rose with bond yields, while news that President Donald Trump instructed aides to proceed with tariffs on about US$200 billion (RM827 billion) of Chinese products limited gains.

The S&P financial index was up 0.7 per cent, leading per centage gains among sectors. Benchmark US Treasury yields rose above 3 per cent earlier in the day but were last off those levels.

At the same time, the rate-sensitive S&P utilities index fell 0.5 per cent.

A source familiar with the White House decision also said the timing for activating the additional tariffs was unclear. The move came despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s attempts to restart talks with Beijing.

“There are a lot of headlines that have come out, people have been pretty active all week, and it’s Friday afternoon. You don’t really want to add additional risk when you don’t know what news might hit over the weekend,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.68 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 26,154.67, the S&P 500 gained 0.83 point, or 0.03 per cent, to 2,905.01 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.67 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 8,010.04.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.9 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 1.2 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 per cent.

Also weighing on utilities was NiSource, which tumbled 11.7 per cent after fire investigators said they suspected a unit of the company, Columbia Gas, was linked to a series of gas explosions in Boston suburbs on Thursday.

Shares of insurer Travelers were up 0.9

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