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Stocks- Wall Street Inches Up As Investors Shrug Off Data, Political News

Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday. - Wall Street was slightly higher on Wednesday, as investors shrugged off mixed data and political uncertainty

The S&P 500 was up four points or 0.15% to 2,769.38 as of 9:42 AM ET (13:42 GMT) while the Dow composite increased 13 points or 0.06% to 25,020.89, and tech heavy NASDAQ Composite rose six points or 0.09% to 7,517.83.

Investors are still digesting news that Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Markets closed in the negative on Tuesday, amid the political uncertainty.

U.S. President Donald Trump is also considering imposing tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, Reuters reported. The tariffs would be largely directed at technology and telecommunications sectors.

The news comes just a week after Trump imposed steep import tariffs on steel and aluminum, although Canada and Mexico are exempt as the administration seeks to negotiate a trade deal. More tariffs could increase fears of a global trade war and weigh on investor appetite for riskier assets.

Meanwhile economic data was mixed on Wednesday. Retail sales fell by 0.1% in February, compared to an estimate of a rise of 0.3% while a separate report showed that U.S. producer prices increased by 0.2%.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) was among the biggest gainers after the morning bell, surging 5.57% while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 1.03% and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd (NYSE:BABA)rose 1.58%.

Elsewhere semiconductor Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) fell 2.73% while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) dipped 0.98% and airline maker Boeing (NYSE:BA) decreased 0.14%.

In Europe stocks were up. In Germany the DAX rose 92 points or 0.75% while France’s CAC 40 increased 20 points or 0.38% and in London the FTSE 100 was up 27 points or 0.38%. Meanwhile Spain’s IBEX 35 gained 31 points or 0.32% and the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 inched up 15 points or 0.46%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.26% to $1,323.60 a troy ounce while crude oil futures inched up 0.10% to $60.77 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% to 89.80.

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