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01-Sep2018

US markets close slightly higher on Friday

The US markets ended slightly higher on Friday, as Canada and the United States concluded trade talks without resolution ahead of the Labor Day weekend. The Wall Street Journal late Friday indicated that talks between the US and Canada had broken off with no agreement before an unofficial White House deadline of Friday. The US Trade Representative's office cited progress in talks that were constructive to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. It said talks would resume on September 5. Trump sent a formal notice to Congress stating that he still intends to sign a revised version of Nafta by late November. That statement is likely to say he is willing to proceed only with Mexico, but that he is also open to continuing negotiations with Canada.

On the economic front, the August Chicago purchasing managers index came in at 63.6, compared with estimates for a reading of 63.8. Still, the data were above the July reading of 65.5. Any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions. Meanwhile, the final reading of the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index in August was 96.2, below July's level of 97.9, but above estimates for 95.5. Despite the improvement, the sentiment level is at its lowest level since January.

The S&P 500 gained 0.39 points or 0.01 percent to 2,901.52 and Nasdaq was up by 21.17 points or 0.26 percent to 8,109.54, while Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 22.10 points or 0.09 percent to 25,964.82.


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