Wall Street edges higher with Apple, though economic data mixed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were higher in late afternoon trading on Monday, helped by gains in shares of Apple Inc, though mixed economic cues in the face of a prolonged U.S.-China trade war limited the advance.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) rose 0.9% after U.S. trade regulators approved 10 out of 15 requests for tariff exemptions by the iPhone maker.

Micron Technology Inc (MU.O), which supplies components to Apple, rose about 1.8%. The chipmaker is set to post its fourth quarter results on Thursday.

Meanwhile, U.S. employment in the services sector shrank for the first time in nine-and-a-half years in September, IHS Markit’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) showed on Monday. At 50.9, the services sector PMI was below expectations of 51.3.

The data also showed manufacturing activity rose in September, topping expectations.

Earlier in the day, a survey showed a manufacturing recession deepening in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy.

Investors have been cautious about progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks after a Chinese agriculture delegation canceled a visit to Montana. The news on Friday led to Wall Street’s main indices posting their worst session in about two weeks.

“People are tentative and want to sit on the sidelines. We’re sitting here just below highs, and there’s no urgent need to chase them unless they break out, and of course no one wants to sell them either,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 66.39 points, or 0.25%, to 27,001.46, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.84 points, or 0.20%, to 2,997.91 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 15.83 points, or 0.19%, to 8,133.50.

Other domestic economic reports due in the final week of the third quarter include core personal consumption data, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, a final reading on second-quarter GDP and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for September.

Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) rose 2.2% as Needham upgraded the network gear maker’s stock to “buy”.

Boeing .BA.N edged lower after a Reuters report that European antitrust regulators were set to investigate the planemaker’s $4.75 billion bid for the commercial aircraft arm of Brazil-based Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA).

Additionally, the chief of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration was set to detail progress on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to international air regulators.

Social network Facebook Inc (FB.O) fell 1.3% and was among the biggest drags on the S&P 500.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.48-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 38 new highs and 45 new lows.

Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Shounak Dasgupta and Sonya Hepinstall

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