US stocks tick up as investors eye earnings, Nafta plans

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US stocks edged up on Thursday as markets warmed to Donald Trump’s decision not to terminate Nafta and awaited a slate of tech earnings.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1 per cent to 2,389.60, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.1 per cent to 20,988.35. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite, rose 0.3 per cent to 6,041.29.

Energy was the biggest decliner, with the S&P 500 energy sector down 1 per cent as the US crude benchmark fell 2.1 per cent to $48.58 a barrel, while Brent prices declined by the same margin to $50.76 a barrel.

Elsewhere, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury, which moves inversely to price, rose 0.4 basis points to 2.307 per cent, while gold prices slid 0.4 per cent to $1,263.75 a troy ounce.

Stocks were little moved by Mr Trump’s tax plans, however, his decision not to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement helped lift sentiment. The president said he would work with Mexico and Canada to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

Investors also digested updates from European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, who delivered a more upbeat assessment of the eurozone economy noting that the recovery was becoming “increasingly solid”.

But it was earnings from a string of tech companies — including Alphabet, Intel and Microsoft and e-commerce giant Amazon — due later in the day and US first quarter GDP out on Friday that investors are now closely tracking.

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