US stocks edge higher as China eases trade tensions

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2019, file photo pedestrians pass the New York Stock Exchange in New York. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved higher in early trading on Wednesday as investors snapped up technology companies following China's move to exempt some U.S. products from a recent round of tariffs.

The tech sector, which has much to gain or lose in the trade war, moved broadly higher in the early going. Apple, which unveiled a variety of new products and services a day earlier, rose 1.5%. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.1%.

Energy and communications stocks also made strong gains. Oilfield services company Schlumberger rose 2.9% and AT&T rose 1.2%.

Banks notched losses in the early going and dragged the financial sector lower. Bank of America and JPMorgan fell and were the biggest weights.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.74% from 1.70% late Tuesday.

China on Wednesday said it will exempt American industrial grease and some other imports from tariff increases, though it kept in place penalties on soybeans and other major U.S. exports ahead of negotiations next month.

The move could indicate that both sides are settling in for an extended conflict even as they prepare for talks in Washington aimed at ending the dispute that threatens global economic growth.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 0.2% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat at 26,910. The Nasdaq rose 0.6%.

Investors continued to shift money to smaller-company stocks. The Russell 2000 index rose 0.9%, far outpacing the broader market.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Asia and Europe moved broadly higher. Analysts continue to expect the European Central Bank to inject a shot of stimulus on Thursday to help shore up economic growth. The measures will likely include cuts to a key interest rate and could involve launching new bond purchases.

WEAK GAME: GameStop plunged 14% after the video game retailer slashed its full-year profit forecast following a disappointing second quarter. The company continues to struggle as it competes with online game sellers. It is also spending to revitalize existing locations in an effort to attract more customers, but said it will take time to see any results.

ARCADE MIRE: Dave & Buster's Entertainment fell 8.6% after the restaurant and arcade operator cut its sales forecast for the year. The company is facing increased competition. The downturn hit food and beverage sales especially hard during the second quarter.

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