United States stocks close higher after soft inflation data

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United States stocks close higher after soft inflation data

Technology companies led US stocks slightly higher in afternoon trading Friday, recouping some of the losses from the day before.

USA stocks closed slightly higher on Friday as investors were digesting the latest inflation data. Banks and department store shares also were among the big decliners. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,865. The Russell 2000 index gave up 24.40 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,372.54.

Weaker-than-expected July consumer price data pointed to benign inflation that could cause the Federal Reserve to hold off from raising rates again this year. But some economists say the Fed may stand pat for the rest of 2017 unless inflation accelerates in coming months.

USA equities reflected bullish undertone in Friday's trade showing resilience amid tensions between North Korea and US. Later, speaking to reporters, President Donald Trump demanded that North Korea "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble.

Almost $1 trillion has been wiped out from global equity markets since Trump's promise on Tuesday to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it threatens the United States.

The suspected range of North Korea's missiles based on their ICBM tests. Chris Jones  IFLScience
The suspected range of North Korea's missiles based on their ICBM tests. Chris Jones IFLScience

He said it is "a bullish sign that the equity markets are rebounding somewhat on a Friday, in spite of the fact that investors will need to wait for two days to react to any geopolitical news that comes out over the weekend".

UP WITH TECH: Investors bid up technology sector shares. KLA-Tencor gained $2.62, or 3 percent, to $90.17.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.20 percent from 2.25 percent late Wednesday. Investor ValueAct disclosed that it had acquired a 7.2 percent stake in the digital storage company.

Technology companies, which have been the biggest gainers this year as the market hit a succession of record highs, led the broad slide. Natural gas jumped 10 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $2.99 per 1,000 cubic feet. Kohl's also declined, giving up $2.43, or 5.8 percent, to $39.50. The stock added $3.44 to $37.91.

J C Penney became the latest retailer to suffer the consequences of weak earnings, diving 16.6 per cent after reporting a US$62 million loss in the second quarter. The stock lost $2.36 to $20.67.

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