Stocks are little changed Tuesday morning as a trade complaint by China puts some pressure on industrial and basic materials companies, and insurance companies take losses as Hurricane Florence moves toward the East Coast. Technology companies are slightly higher.
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KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,878 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,876. The Nasdaq composite gained 21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,945. The Russell 2000 index of smaller and more U.S.-focused companies added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,718.
TRADE WINDS: The World Trade Organization says it will review China’s request to be allowed to impose sanctions on the U.S. for failing to abide by WTO rules. The dispute is linked steps the U.S. took in 2013 over Chinese goods that it said were “dumped,” or sold for less than market value.
Among industrial companies, Johnson Controls fell 2.4 percent to $37.47 and Paccar slid 1.4 percent to $69.04. Steel maker Nucor fell 1 percent to $61.81 and miner Freeport-McMoRan fell 2.2 percent to $12.92.
Separately, the Trump administration is due to announce a decision shortly on whether to go ahead with 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports in a dispute over Beijing’s technology policy. The two sides already have raised duties on $50 billion of each other’s goods.
The proposed sanctions have had little effect on the market recently, as industrial companies are the best-performing part of the S&P 500 in the last month even though investors feel a trade war leaves them vulnerable to higher costs and reduced sales.
STORM WARNING: Hurricane Florence remained an extremely dangerous major hurricane with winds of 130 miles an hour on Tuesday, and it’s expected to get stronger as it closes in on the Carolinas Thursday.
While people on the East Coast make preparations and hunker down, investors are concerned that insurance companies might have to pay for widespread damages. Berkshire Hathaway fell 0.7 percent to $213.61.
SOUNDS BAD: Wireless speaker maker Sonos plunged 16 percent to $17.84 after its first earnings report as a publicly traded company. The company went public in early August with an offering that priced at $15 a share and it had climbed to $21.24 at Monday’s close.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX lost 0.3 percent and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.7 percent and officially entered a bear market, having fallen 20.3 percent from its recent peak reached Jan. 26. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent while Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 0.9 percent to $68.18 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 0.7 percent to $77.89 a barrel in London.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.97 percent from 2.94 percent.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 111.55 yen from 111.21 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1593 from $1.1597.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay