Stocks fluctuate on news of tariffs; investment in GM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower Thursday morning following big swings over the last two days. Steelmakers are rising as the Trump administration announced that it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe, Canada and Mexico. General Motors is surging after SoftBank of Japan said it will invest $2.25 billion in GM’s autonomous car business.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,715 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 133 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,553.

Despite the old Wall Street saying “Sell in May and go away,” stocks are on track to finish higher this month. The S&P 500 is up 2.6 percent in May while the Nasdaq has jumped almost 6 percent and the Russell has advanced nearly 7 percent.

STEEL OR NO STEEL: President Donald Trump’s administration is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from European, Canada and Mexico after failing to win concessions in talks.

U.S. Steel jumped 7 percent to $38.80 and Nucor gained 2.7 percent to $65.83. Aluminum producer Alcoa rose 1.5 percent to $49.28

The EU has said it will implement tariffs on imports including motorcycles and bourbon if the U.S. goes ahead with the proposal. Harley-Davidson lost 1.1 percent to $41.51.

GM = GET MONEY: GM said SoftBank is taking a 20 percent stake in the GM Cruise automated division, which values that business at about $11 billion. GM itself will invest another $1.1 billion in it to speed up large-scale deployment of self-driving robotaxis next year. General Motors stock jumped 10.6 percent to $41.84.

CONSUMER SPENDING: The Commerce Department said Americans boosted their spending by 0.6 percent in April while a gauge of inflation remained at the Federal Reserve’s optimal level for a second straight month. Consumer spending was a bit weak in the first quarter of this year and experts are predicting a rebound from April to June.

However discount retailers Dollar Tree and Dollar General both stumbled after they said inclement weather hurt their business in the first quarter of the year. Their results fell short of Wall Street projections and Dollar Tree cut its profit forecast for the year.

DEUTSCHE BANK: Deutsche Bank skidded after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve determined the bank’s U.S. business is in “troubled condition,” a designation that pushed the bank to take fewer risks and requires it to get Fed approval before it hires or fires senior managers in the U.S. The stock lost 6.7 percent to $10.79.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil slipped 1.4 percent to $67.24 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 0.8 percent to $78.36 per barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.83 percent from 2.85 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 108.57 yen from 108.85 yen. The euro rose to $1.1664 from $1.1654.

OVERSEAS: The DAX in Germany lost 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent. The British FTSE 100 index gained 0.3 percent. Italian stocks fell after a big gain on Wednesday.

Asian stocks rose following big gains in the U.S. the day before. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 1.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.6 percent.

Contributing to those gains, a survey showed Chinese factory activity grew at its fastest rate in eight months on stronger demand.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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