Investing.com – Wall Street was slightly higher on Thursday as investors shrug of trade war uncertainty and look ahead to jobs data.
The S&P 500 was up eight points or 0.32% to 2,735.58 as of 9:47 AM ET (14:47 GMT) while the Dow composite increased 120 points or 0.49% to 24,921.83, and tech heavy NASDAQ Composite slumped 28 points or 0.39% to 7,425.41.
Trump is expected to make a formal announcement of steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at 3:30 PM ET (20:30 GMT). Markets have been on edge since last week, as investors worry the tariffs could create a trade war. The European Union has announced that it will retaliate in a tit-for-tat tariff on American exports like cranberry sauce, Levi jeans, and bourbon.
Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co (NASDAQ:ESRX)s was among the top gainers in pre-market trading, surging 14.33% after health insurer Cigna (NYSE:CI) offered to buy the firm in a $67 billion deal. Cigna fell 7.37% following the news.
Technology stocks were also up, with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) increasing 0.49% while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) inched up 0.23%. Airplane maker Boeing (NYSE:BA) rose 1.40% and semiconductor Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) gained 1.02%.
Elsewhere retail firm Kroger (NYSE:KR) fell 9.49% after a disappointing profit outlook, while luxury carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell 0.29% and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was down 0.28%.
In economic news, the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected. The data, which was released ahead of nonfarm payrolls data on Friday, was still near a 48-year low.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank kept rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected.
In Europe stocks were up. In Germany the DAX rose 81 points or 0.67% while France’s CAC 40 increased 60 points or 1.21% and in London the FTSE 100 gained 29 points or 0.41%. Meanwhile Spain’s IBEX 35 was up 56 points or 0.59% and the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 inched up 36 points or 1.09%.
In commodities, gold futures fell 0.29% to $1,323.70 a troy ounce while crude oil futures decreased 0.44% to $60.88 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rallied 0.25% to 89.79.