Wall St set to open lower as trade tensions escalate

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York U.S

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Crude oil prices failed to make a decisive recovery on Thursday even though the US sanctions against Iran went into effect on Thursday and the S&P 500 Energy Index closed the day 0.9% lower.

Aug 9 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 were little changed, while the Nasdaq was firmly higher, propped up by the high-flying technology trio of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

The S&P 600 closed at 1,061.55 for a loss of -1.55 points or -0.15%. It was down 29.07 points, or 0.11 percent, at 25,554.68.

The energy group dropped 0.75 percent and weighed the most on the S&P index as crude oil prices fell on slowing Chinese demand and trade issues. The S&P is also less than half a percent shy of the record it hit in late January. In corporate news, shares of Dropbox Inc. were lower after a second-quarter earnings report, which also included news that Chief Operating Officer Dennis Woodside was stepping down and a post-IPO lockup on shares would expire earlier than previously planned.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market counter ongoing trade tensions. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.07 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 7,834.71 at the opening bell.

Erdogan tells Turks to buy plunging lira as Trump turns the screws
Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency. Some economists were less impressed by the government's handling of the crisis.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower. Tribune shares rose 2.9 percent.

S&P 500 e-minis (ESc1) were up 1.25 points, or 0.04 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis (NQc1) were up 3.25 points, or 0.04 percent.

Rite Aid (RAD.N) fell 11.5 percent after the drug store chain and USA grocer Albertsons Cos ABS.N agreed to terminate their merger agreement.

About 6.7 billion shares changing hands on USA exchanges.

Rite Aid (RAD.N) fell 10.6 percent and was the most actively traded stock after the drug store chain and US grocer Albertsons Cos ABS.N agreed to terminate their merger agreement.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.80-to-1 ratio on the NYSE.

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