The averages were searching for direction in early trading as investors debated conflicting signals about the U.S. trade fight along with weak economic data out of China. The market gained downside momentum after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a key Brexit vote and wouldn’t commit to a new date for a vote. Uncertainty over the strength of global growth lingers, but U.S. stocks managed to reverse their drop and finish in the green as technology stocks rebounded.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the JOLTS report stated that job openings rose 119,000 to 7.08M in October, which was fairly in-line with the consensus forecast.
In China, the producer price index climbed 2.7% in November from a year ago, marking the slowest pace in more than two years. The consumer price index grew 2.2%, which was slower than expected. Exports in dollar terms rose 5.4% in November, missing estimates, while imports grew 3%, widening China's trade surplus to its high mark for the year.
COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) moved lower in early trading after Qualcomm (QCOM) said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of most iPhone models in China as the court found the smartphones violated two of Qualcomm patents. Apple, meanwhile, said that all of its iPhone models remain available in China and that it will continue its legal fight with the chipmaker. Later on, Apple told Reuters that it has filed a request for a Chinese court to reconsider the ban. Apple recovered and finished the day fractionally higher, while Qualcomm shares closed with an advance of 2.2%.
Facebook (FB) disclosed in a regulatory filing after Friday's close that its board approved an increase of $9B in the amount authorized under the company's share repurchase program.
GoPro (GPRO) announced that it plans to move most of its U.S.-bound camera production out of China by the summer of 2019 to mitigate the potential impact of inclusion on any new tariff lists. International-bound camera production will remain in China, the action camera maker noted.
In M&A news, Travelport (TVPT) announced a deal to be taken private by affiliates of Siris Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4.4B, or $15.75 per share. Additionally, Tivity Health (TVTY) announced an agreement to acquire Nutrisystem (NTRI) for a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $47 per share in a transaction that values the weight loss products maker at an enterprise value of $1.3B and an equity value of $1.4B.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Xperi (XPER), which rose 44% after it announced a pact with Samsung (SSNLF) to settle and dismiss all pending litigation between the companies. Also higher was Yelp (YELP), which gained 3% after SQN Investors sent a letter to the company calling for the board to be refreshed with "new, independent voices."
Among the notable losers was MacroGenics (MGNX), which fell 18% after the FDA placed a partial hold on two studies involving MGD009. Also lower was Ford (F), which was 3% lower after Reuters said that the car maker confirmed that it has entered into "formal negotiations" with its Works Council about potential job cuts with the objective of ending production of C-Max/Grand C-Max at its Saarlouis plant in Germany.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 34.31, or 0.14%, to 24,423.26
, the Nasdaq gained 51.27, or 0.74%, to 7,020.52, and the S&P 500 advanced 4.64, or 0.18%, to 2,637.72