US stocks rise as Trump retreats on tough new China rules

New York:Wall Street stocks advanced early Wednesday after the White House said it backed tougher oversight of foreign investment in sensitive areas but stopped short of imposing new rules specifically targeting China.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 24,356.51, up 0.3 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.3 percent at 2,731.01, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also rose 0.3 percent to 7,583.64.

President Donald Trump said he backed efforts in Congress to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which provides oversight of proposed foreign investments in the US in sensitive technologies.

But Trump retreated from a plan aimed at tougher treatment for China. Stocks sold off earlier in the week on fears such a move could exacerbate trade tensions with Beijing, and open US companies up to retaliation.

Pinnacle Foods dropped 3.6 percent after agreeing to be bought by Conagra Brands for $10.9 billion, including debt. Conagra slumped 5.6 percent.

Harley-Davidson slipped 0.4 percent after S&P placed it on credit watch for a possible debt ratings downgrade due to a hit from new European tariffs on motorcycles that will pinch the company’s profits.

Trump has lambasted the American motorcycle manufacturer after it announced plans to move some manufacturing capacity overseas to avoid the EU tariffs.