Dow industrials finish up 99 points as Walmart gains

Stocks ended a see-saw session mostly higher as investors balanced U.S.-China trade tensions and recession fears with upbeat data on retail sales and solid earnings from Dow component Walmart Inc. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of around 100 points, or 0.4%, near 25,579, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 rose around 7 points, or 0.2%, to close near 2,848. The Nasdaq Composite bucked the trend, ending around 7 points lower near 7,767, down 0.1%. Stronger-than-expected retail sales figures buoyed expectations that consumers would continue to underpin the U.S. economy, as did strong gains for Walmart Inc. after the retailer topped Wall Street expectations. Walmart shares led Dow gainers with a 6.1% rise. But trade-related worries continued to linger after Beijing said it would take unspecified steps in response to additional U.S. tariffs on imports from China. Stocks tumbled sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow logging its biggest one-day percentage fall of 2019, after an inversion of the main measure of the U.S. yield curve underlined recession fears.

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