Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher in choppy trading on Thursday, as expectations of a supportive central bank kept in check worries of a flare up in trade tensions after President Donald Trump’s fresh China tariffs threat.
Trump said he would decide on more tariffs “probably right after the G20” meeting later this month, which followed his warning overnight to levy duties on at least another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The trade-sensitive industrial sector fell 0.41%, the biggest decliner among the four major sectors lower.
Federal Reserve policymakers have hinted they would be ready to cut rates if the U.S.-China trade spat threatens a decade-long expansion. Since early May, Trump has slapped new tariffs on Chinese imports and warned of U.S. levies on Mexico.
“While the escalation in China is important, the fact that he chose to go after Mexico is more important in fears surrounding trade overall,” said Matt Ruffalo, chartered financial analyst at Clarfeld Financial Advisors.