US Stocks end mixed on profit booking

US Stocks end mixed on profit booking

Shares open slightly higher on Wall Street, led by gains in healthcare and technology companies.

Apple, Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc, which have powered the longest bull run in U.S. equities, were among the top contributors to record high closes for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

With the S&P 500 at record levels, equivalent to around 18 times expected earnings, algorithmic traders and human investors interpreted the Bloomberg report as a reason to sell, said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of Themis Trading, in Chatham, New Jersey. US futures were little changed after technology shares Monday sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index to record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% in early trading. The Nasdaq increased by 24 points, or 0.3%, to 9,275.

Technology companies also climbed. AP's earlier story follows below.

Gains extended after the USA was reported to plan lifting the currency-manipulator label from China, a move that was confirmed after the market closed.

Wall Street looked set for a quiet start, with the future contracts for the Dow and the S&P 500 both down 0.1%.

Analysts welcomed Washington's move to drop its accusation that China manipulates its currency ahead of the expected signing of a "phase one" trade deal tomorrow. S. goods over a two-year period in four industries, according to several reports, in return the U.

China has pledged to buy almost an additional $80 billion of manufactured goods from the United States over the next two years, and over $50 billion more in energy supplies, Reuters reported, citing a source briefed on the Phase 1 trade deal.

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It is unclear whether the deal signed on Wednesday takes into account such issues.

In earnings news this morning, Dow component UnitedHealth (+2.1%), BlackRock (+2%) and Bank of America (-1.8%) beat earnings expectations, while Goldman Sachs (-0.6%) turned in a mixed report. The S&P 500 gained 22.78 points, or 0.70%, to 3,288.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 95.07 points, or 1.04%, to 9,273.93. "A 0.22% m/m rise would likely be enough for 2.4%; we have 0.21%". Also reaching a record high, Google-owner Alphabet Inc added 0.8 per cent, bringing its market capitalisation to $US993 billion ($A1.4 trillion).

The modest trade pact that President Donald Trump and China's main negotiator, Liu He, have to sign eases some sanctions against China.

On Friday, U.S. equities reversed from all-time highs on the back of disappointing employment data.

Mnuchin said that was because the trade agreement contains a "fully enforceable" chapter on currency policy.

Beijing, meanwhile, will step up its purchases of US farm products and other goods.

In other trading, benchmark crude oil rose 5 cents to $58.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 96 cents to $58.08 a barrel on Monday.

Gold fell 0.6% to $1538.West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to $58.25 a barrel. It rose 29 cents to $ 64.49 a barrel on Tuesday.

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