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US: Nasdaq edges to record as trade fears weigh on Dow

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[NEW YORK] Worries about a trade war weighed on Wall Street stocks on Tuesday, but the Nasdaq mustered a second straight record following a strong reading on US service sector activity.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led the major indices, winning 0.4 per cent to close the day at 7,637.86.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1 per cent to end at 24,799.98, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 per cent to 2,748.80.

Trade tensions dominated the headlines, with White House advisor Larry Kudlow saying the president would prefer bilateral agreements with Mexico and Canada to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canadian and Mexican officials, however, said they remained focused on a three-nation trade deal to revise the 1994 trade pact.

The back-and-forth came as Mexico released a detailed list of specific US products facing retaliatory import duties, including a host of steel products, pork, fruits, cheese and bourbon.

A survey from the Business Roundtable showed Mr Trump's trade policies are starting to weigh on business sentiment, with CEOs less bullish on hiring, capital investment and sales. The index, while still above historical averages, fell for the first time in Mr Trump's presidency.

"We're not getting any clarity," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "All we're hearing about is tariffs and retaliatory actions."

A report from the Institute for Supply Management showing strong services sector activity in May.

"The data continue to prove out the fundamental backdrop being strong, but there's a concern on the other side of that of what would it mean if we took this trade policy to its possible conclusion," Mr Hogan said.

Among individual companies, Starbucks dropped 2.4 per cent after former chief executive and chairman Howard Schultz announced he was stepping down from the coffee giant.

Twitter surged 5.0 per cent after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced it would add the microblogging company to its S&P 500 index to replace Monsanto, which is being acquired by Bayer.

Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line both lost more than four per cent following a negative report on the cruise industry from Morgan Stanley.

AFP

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