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US stocks mostly rise as investors seek more clues on Fed

Stocks moved broadly higher on Wall Street in early trading Thursday, extending the market’s gains from the day before.

Technology companies and banks accounted for a big share of the gains as investors welcomed another batch of encouraging corporate earnings reports.

Retailers Nordstrom, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Dicks’ Sporting Goods rose after reporting results that beat analysts’ forecasts. L Brands slumped after it gave an outlook that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.

Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil.

The latest gains have the market on track to snap a three-week losing streak. Trading has been volatile this month as investors try to gauge whether the U.S. economy could be headed for a recession. A key concern is that the U.S.-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic and corporate earnings growth.

The Trump administration has imposed a 25% tariff on $250 billion in Chinese imports. A pending 10% tariff on another $300 billion in goods would hit everything from toys to clothing and shoes that China ships to the United States, however some 60% of the new tariffs wouldn’t go into effect until mid-December, and others were taken off the table altogether.

Investors have been seeking insight into the Federal Reserve’s willingness to make further interest rate cuts to help shore up the economy. The central bank cut its benchmark rate in July for the first time in a decade.

Traders are hoping to get a better read on whether Fed officials will cut rates again at their September meeting from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to speak Friday at the central bank’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 0.1% as of 10:16 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 98 points, or 0.4%, to 26,301. The Nasdaq was flat.

Major indexes in Europe were lower.

LOOKING GOOD: Nordstrom jumped 13% after the department store chain reported results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.

STRONG RESULTS: Dick’s Sporting Goods gained 5.2% after the athletic apparel chain’s second quarter earnings and revenue came in ahead of analysts’ estimates. The company noted growth in all its key segments and raised its guidance for the year.

GOOD QUARTER: BJ’s Wholesale Club vaulted 15.7% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

NOT SO STYLISH: L Brands slumped 8.1% after the owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works gave a third quarter earnings outlook that fell below what analysts expected.


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