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U.S. Stocks Eke Out Gain on Late Technology Rally: Markets Wrap

Jeremy Herron
U.S. Stocks Eke Out Gain on Late Technology Rally: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks ended virtually unchanged after a tech-led rally in the final minutes of trading salvaged the session.

The S&P 500 eked out a gain to avoid its worst weekly drop since December, led by a rebound in tech shares spurred by better-than-expected earnings. Equities were under pressure all day after Australia’s central bank joined European and British officials in tamping down economic forecasts, while at the same time the prospects for an extension of the U.S.’s trade detente with China continued to fade.

In corporate news, Motorola Solutions surged after a strong report. Hasbro tumbled after its earnings disappointed, while rival Mattel gained on a positive results. Amazon slid as the feud between its CEO and President Donald Trump took an unexpected turn.

The 10-year Treasury yield slumped a fourth day and gold futures remained above $1,300 an ounce. Renewed fears over the potential for more protectionist measures helped push emerging-market equities down for a third session. China’s market remained shut for Lunar New Year, though Hong Kong reopened and shares finished slightly lower.

The host of threats that sent equities into a tailspin at the end of 2018 bubbled back to the surface this week. The U.S. and China look unlikely to reach a deal before the March 1 deadline for higher tariffs, while warnings mount that the dispute is hurting global growth and corporate profits. The U.S. government could be headed for another shutdown as political tensions flare between Congress and the president. Only the Federal Reserve, which made an abrupt about-face in its policy stance, hasn’t added to anxiety this week.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent at 4 p.m. in New York.The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 0.5 percent, pushing a weekly slide to 0.7 percent.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.6 percent.The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 0.6 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The euro fell 0.2 percent at $1.1322.The British pound fell 0.2 percent to $1.2932.The Japanese yen was steady at 109.78 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined five basis points to 2.63 percent, the lowest in more than a week.Germany’s 10-year yield fell eight basis points to 0.087 percent.Britain’s 10-year yield dropped nine basis points to 1.151 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.1 percent $52.71 a barrel.Gold advanced 0.3 percent to $1,318.60 an ounce.

--With assistance from Sarah Ponczek, Todd White and Yakob Peterseil.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Herron in New York at jherron8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Randall Jensen

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