S&P, Nasdaq dragged down by Micron's downbeat outlook

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By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq slipped on Friday, pulled lower by a slide in Micron shares after the chipmaker blamed U.S.-China trade tensions for its downbeat first-quarter profit forecast, but gains in financials kept the Dow in positive territory.

Shares in Wells Fargo & Co (N:) rose 4.4% and were among the top gainers on the S&P 500 () after the lender named banking veteran Charles Scharf as chief executive officer.

The news boosted the bank sub-sector , which rose 1.43%, while the broader financial sector was up 0.65%.

The chip sector, however, came under pressure after Micron Technology Inc (O:) tumbled 9.8% and drove a 1.2% fall in Philadelphia semiconductor index ().

Upbeat comments on trade from China’s foreign minister Wang Yi offset some of the shock from the launching of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and helped stem losses in late Thursday session.

Markets now await high-level trade talks between Washington and Beijing next month.

Yet analysts and traders say the volatility of the day-to-day messages from both sides in a conflict that dates back over a year has left investors with little faith that a full-scale resolution is in prospect any time soon.

“Could we get a positive headline on trade? Yes. But it will be optics at best,” said Peter Cecchini, chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York. “I don’t expect anything that happens before the elections to be a comprehensive deal.”

At 10:12 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 26.83 points, or 0.10%, at 26,917.95 and the S&P 500 () was down 2.66 points, or 0.09%, at 2,974.96. The Nasdaq Composite () was down 30.05 points, or 0.37%, at 8,000.62.

All three main indexes are set to end the week slightly lower.

Data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August, suggesting that the economy’s main growth engine was slowing after accelerating sharply in the second quarter.

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods also unexpectedly fell in August but the so-called core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, rose to 1.8% in August, the biggest rise in prices since January.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 51 new lows.

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