Walmart helps lift stocks, trade fears steady

Wilbur Ross on Huawei: Many rural telecom carriers already using it in 4G environment

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on mounting concerns over Huawei, U.S. trade negotiations with China, steel and aluminum tariffs, USMCA and auto tariffs.

U.S. stocks clocked modest gains in early trading on Thursday after solid quarterly results from Walmart and an easing of fears that ongoing trade wars won’t be as severe.

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Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
I:DJ n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
SP500 S&P 500 2877.23 +26.27 +0.92%

The world’s largest retailer topped profit estimates for the first quarter as same-store sales grew at a pace not seen in nearly a decade and the retail giant's e-commerce business continued to expand at a double-digit percentage rate.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
WMT WALMART INC. 103.36 +3.48 +3.49%

"We have a stronger foundation in place with our stores, and we're making good progress in eCommerce. We're embracing new processes and technologies with the goal of serving our customers even better," CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.

On trade, President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that allows the Commerce Department to ban foreign telecom gear that poses a national security risk to the technology infrastructure of the U.S. The Commerce Department specifically named Huawei as a company that potentially undermines U.S. national security.

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Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business, “U.S. technology will not be used in a way that’s adverse,” he said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo.  Ross said Huawei's technology also poses a risk to the development of 5G.

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Trump's crackdown on Chinese tech is impacting chipmakers, which saw some weakness early in the session.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
SOX n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
INTC INTEL CORPORATION 45.55 -0.07 -0.14%
NVDA NVIDIA CORPORATION 159.14 -0.44 -0.28%

Ross also indicated that the White House is still deciding whether to move forward with tariffs on European automakers and a final decision could come by May 18.

In commodities, oil prices nudged higher for both Brent, the worldwide benchmark, now trading around $72 per barrel and WTI, which tracks domestic prices, hovering around $62 and change.

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