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* Trump says “not yet ready” to make a deal with China
* Activision Blizzard gains after Goldman upgrade
* Total System gains on buyout deal
* Bond yields hit lowest level since 2017; bank stocks fall
* Indexes up: Dow 0.19%, S&P 0.16%, Nasdaq 0.37% (Updates prices,)
By Amy Caren Daniel
May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks eked out gains on Tuesday, helped by technology stocks, but the likelihood of a protracted trade war between the United States and China kept investors on the sidelines.
Trump on Monday said he was “not yet ready” to make a deal with China but he expected one in the future. The back-and-forth between the two sides has sparked worries that the trade war would lead to a global economic slowdown.
“What you’re seeing is kind of an over-sold bounce, we’ll see over the course of the day if that holds,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee
“Last week wasn’t great, and we start this week with nothing fresh to trade off of and there is only so much pricing of tariff fears you can put in markets before you exhaust that as a downside catalyst.”
The benchmark S&P 500 index as of Friday’s close was about 4% away from its record high hit on May 1, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial index posted its fifth straight week of decline.
Trade uncertainty has pushed investors towards safe-haven assets, which resulted in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields dropping to its lowest level since October 2017.
The rate-sensitive banking sector dropped 0.35%, while the broader financial sector fell 0.15% and weighed on the S&P.
The technology sector, which is among the worst performing S&P sectors this month, rose 0.54%, helped by a 6.3% jump in Total System Services Inc.
Global Payments Inc said it would buy the payment technology company for about $21.5 billion in stock. Its shares declined 1.5%.
Markets were also helped by gains in marquee stocks, including Facebook Inc, Amazon.com, Netflix and Microsoft Corp, which rose about 1% each.
At 11:05 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 49.42 points, or 0.19%, at 25,635.11, the S&P 500 was up 4.66 points, or 0.16%, at 2,830.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 27.94 points, or 0.37%, at 7,664.94.
Among others, Activision Blizzard Inc rose 4.2% after Goldman Sachs upgraded its stock to “buy” and said the videogame publisher would benefit from its recent game releases.
Advanced Micro Devices jumped 8% and also helped lift the sector, after the chipmaker launched new computing and graphics products on Sunday. Rival Intel Corp fell 2.3%.
Gilead Sciences fell 2.5% after Goldman Sachs downgraded its shares to “sell” from “neutral”, saying the drugmaker has very limited mid-to-late stage pipelines.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 16 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 41 new highs and 70 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel, Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva)