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Wall Street sluggish on trade concerns

NEW YORK (Reuters): The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were largely flat on Friday hit by concerns about ongoing trade talks between the US and other major economies, but gains in Apple and Amazon lifted the Nasdaq.

Wall Street’s rally came to a halt on Thursday after a report that US President Donald Trump was ready to impose tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese goods next week.

A separate report on Friday about Canadian government officials expressing concerns that a final North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pact will not be reached within the Friday deadline, added to the trade worries.

“The threat of global growth taking a hit from a damaging U.S-China relationship remains ‘front and center’,” said Dean Popplewell, vice president of market analysis at Oanda.

Automakers took a hit with Ford (F.N) down 0.5 percent, GM (GM.N) off 0.4 percent and Fiat-Chrysler falling 1.1 percent.

At 10:11 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average.DJI was up 22.42 points, or 0.09 percent, at 26,009.34, the S&P 500.SPX was up 3.05 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,904.18 and the Nasdaq Composite.IXIC was up 26.51 points, or 0.33 percent, at 8,114.87.

Apple (AAPL.O) rose 1.6 percent, extending its gains for the seventh day. Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) had added to its stake in the iPhone maker and Apple announced a Sept. 12 event, at which it is expected to unveil new iPhone models

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) was up 0.8 percent, topping $2,000 for the second day in a row to renew its push to join Apple in the $1 trillion market cap club.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the energy sector.SPNY leading the decline with a 0.80 percent drop. [O/R]

The S&P financial index.SPSY fell 0.25 percent with JPMorgan (JPM.N) down 0.8 percent, Goldman Sachs (GS.N) off 0.2 percent and Citigroup (C.N) which dropped 0.7 percent. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.41-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 new highs and 20 new lows.

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