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US: Stocks edge higher ahead of US-North Korea summit


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks edged higher on Monday, largely shrugging off a contentious G-7 weekend meeting while looking ahead to an historic US-North Korea summit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up a hair at 25,322.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 per cent to 2,782.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 per cent to 7,659.93.

US stocks spent much of the morning under pressure after a messy finale to the G-7 meeting when President Donald Trump disavowed a group communique and bitterly attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter.

Stocks later strengthened but a sell-off near the end of the session cut into the gains. Still, the market's ho-hum reaction to the G-7 clash suggested investors remained skeptical that a value-destroying trade war was likely.

"It is probably more bluster than anything else," said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates. "It will probably blow over and end up not having much effect on our economy going forward."

Markets were also fixated on Mr Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Singapore time.

Mr Lynch said expectations for the talks were "fairly low" and that any agreement would be a "long, drawn-out process."

Investors are also gearing up for policy announcements later in the week by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Among individual companies, Tesla Motors shot up 4.5 per cent after chief executive Elon Musk said on Twitter that the company's updated Autopilot software coming in August would enable "full self-driving features" for the automaker's electric cars.

Envision Healthcare gained 2.3 per cent after agreeing to be acquired by investment firm KKR for about US$9.9 billion, including debt.

In another potential deal, Boston Scientific surged 7.5 per cent following a report it received a takeover bid from Stryker. Stryker fell 5.2 per cent following the report in The Wall Street Journal, which said it was unclear if Boston Scientific was receptive to a transaction.

Utility PG&E fell four percent after a California agency concluded that several of the wildfires that ripped through northern part of the state in October 2017 were caused by downed power lines owned by the company.


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