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Lingering Trade War Concerns May Consume US Stocks

By Investors Hub

The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Monday, with stocks likely to move back to the downside after ending last Friday?s trading mostly higher.

Continued concerns about a global trade war are likely to weigh on the markets after a report from the Wall Street Journal said President Donald Trump plans to ban many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms and block additional technology exports to Beijing.

Trump also continued his harsh rhetoric on trade in a post on Twitter on Sunday, urging countries to remove ?artificial? trade barriers on tariffs on U.S. goods.

?The United States is insisting that all countries that have placed artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country, remove those Barriers & Tariffs or be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!? Trump tweeted.

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Friday, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the day modestly below the unchanged line. The advance by the Dow allowed the blue chip index to avoid its longest losing streak in over forty years.

The major averages finished the session mixed. The Nasdaq dipped 20.14 points or 0.3 percent to 7,692.82, while the Dow climbed 119.19 points or 0.5 percent to 24,580.89 and the S&P 500 rose 5.13 points or 0.2 percent to 2,754.89.

Despite the mixed performance on the day, the major averages all moved lower for the week. While the Dow slumped by 2 percent, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 slid by 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

A rally by energy stocks contributed to the strength on Wall Street, as the price of crude oil spiked higher on news out of the closely watched OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria.

Reports earlier in the day indicated OPEC planned to increase oil production by about 1 million barrels per day, although a statement from the cartel did not provide a specific figure.

OPEC only noted that it was overshooting the output reduction target put in place in November of 2016 and said it will “strive to adhere to the overall conformity level of OPEC-12, down to 100%.”

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index spiked by 3.6 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index surged up by 2.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index jumped by 2 percent.

Steel stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 2.1 percent. The index bounced off its lowest closing level in over two months.

Chemical and gold stocks also showed strong moves to the upside, while weakness was visible among banking and semiconductor stocks.

Traders largely shrugged off lingering trade concerns even as President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all cars imported to the U.S. from the European Union.

Trump claimed in a post on Twitter that he would impose the new tariffs unless the EU removes tariffs and trade barriers placed on the U.S.

“Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!” Trump tweeted.

The latest tweet from Trump came after he threatened to escalate the ongoing trade dispute with China earlier this week.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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