NEW YORK, March 8 — Wall Street stocks rose early today following more benign commentary from the White House on international trade, while pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts surged on its takeover by insurer Cigna.
About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,929.33, up 0.5 per cent.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent at 2,735.30, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 7,427.29.
US stocks have been under pressure since President Donald Trump last week surprised markets by announcing plans to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
But the White House has yet to unveil a specific plan, and some commentators have hoped that Trump’s actions will be more moderate than some of his rhetoric on trade. The White House’s tone has softened in the last day, with a spokeswoman Wednesday pointing to possible exceptions for Mexico and Canada.
Trump said on Twitter today that the United States would show “flexibility” to “real friends” concerning planned steel and aluminum tariffs, ahead of an expected signing ceremony to formalize the controversial measures.
Express Scripts surged 14.4 per cent following its agreement to be acquired by Cigna for about US$67 billion in the latest big deal in the health care sector. Cigna fell 7.3 per cent.
Supermarket chain Kroger slumped 9.5 per cent after projecting 2018 earnings between US$1.95 and US$2.15 a share, below some analyst expectations. — AFP