Trader Anthony Carannante, center, confers with colleague John Panin on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. World stocks indexes are falling Thursday after the Trump administration said it will consider an even higher tax rate of 25 percent on $200 billion in imports from China, raising the stakes in the trade war between the two largest economies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

US stocks inch higher after solid jobs report for July

August 03, 2018 - 9:16 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher Friday morning after the Labor Department said hiring remained solid in July. Retailers are making some of the largest gains while industrial and technology companies are slightly lower. There was little immediate reaction to China's threat to put tariffs on $60 billion in American goods.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was unchanged at 2,827 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,360. The Nasdaq composite fell 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,791. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,683.

JOBS: U.S. employers slowed their hiring in July, and they added fewer jobs than analysts expected. Hourly wage growth also remained modest even though unemployment is around 18-year lows. Despite the tensions between the U.S. and several of its trading partners, consumers are spending freely and businesses are stepping up their investment in buildings and equipment, accelerating growth. That's boosting demand for workers in industries ranging from manufacturing to construction to health care.

EARNINGS: Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive jumped 14.5 percent to $126.25 percent after it topped Wall Street's expectations in the fiscal first quarter and raised its projections for the rest of the year. The company said players spent more money on "Grand Theft Auto Online" and "NBA 2K18" than it expected.

Security software company Symantec plunged 14.2 percent to $17.91 after it said billings were lower than expected in its most recent quarter. The company also forecast a loss for the next quarter that was larger than analysts were expecting.

Kraft Heinz climbed 5.9 percent to $62.88 after the maker of Oscar Mayer meats and Jell-O pudding said improved sales in Europe and Asia helped offset weaker results from the U.S. and Canada. The company's profit fell sharply and its costs increased, but its results were better than analysts expected.

TARIFF THREATS: China and the U.S. continued to threaten each other with more tariffs. China's government said Friday that it will put tariffs on $60 billion in goods including coffee and honey if the U.S. goes ahead with a proposal to tax $200 billion in Chinese imports. The Trump administration said this week that it might put a tariff of 25 percent on those goods, a higher rate than it had threatened previously.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent from 2.98 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 0.3 percent to $68.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.1 percent to $73.49 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened slightly. It fell to 111.20 yen from 111.69 yen. The euro fell to $1.1573 from $1.1587.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent and the CAC 40 in France edged up 0.1 percent. The British FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 added less than 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gave up 0.2 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 percent.

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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

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